Former Red Hot Chili Peppers Guitarist Josh Klinghoffer Facing Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Josh Klinghoffer, the former guitarist of Red Hot Chili Peppers, was sued for wrongful death and negligence after allegedly running over and killing a pedestrian in Alhambra, California, reports Variety and TMZ. The lawsuit was filed by the family of Israel Sanchez, the 47-year-old man who was struck by the musician’s car in the March 18 incident.

According to the lawsuit, Klinghoffer was allegedly on his phone while driving an SUV and made a left turn while Sanchez was walking across the street in a marked crosswalk. The impact caused blunt-force trauma to the head, and Sanchez died from his injuries hours later. The complaint also states that an arrest was never made in the incident.

“This was a tragic accident,” said Klinghoffer’s attorney, Andrew B. Brettler, in a statement shared with Pitchfork. “After the car struck the pedestrian, Josh immediately pulled over, stopped the vehicle, called 911, and waited until police and the ambulance arrived. He is fully cooperating with the traffic investigation.”

“Mr. Klinghoffer should be arrested and prosecuted for homicide. We have a video of him on his cell phone at the time he hit and killed Israel Sanchez, a loving father, in a crosswalk,” the Sanchez family’s attorney, Nick Rowley, told Variety. “Israel Sanchez was on his way to the grocery store to make soup for his family and never came home. He did everything right, looking for oncoming traffic and abiding by pedestrian signage, but tragically Mr. Klinghoffer, in a rush and on his phone, hit him fatally from behind with a large SUV. The loss and grief that the Sanchez family now faces is immense. We will not stop until there is accountability and justice for Mr. Sanchez and his family.”

Klinghoffer played guitar with the Red Hot Chili Peppers from 2009 to 2019, when he was replaced by longtime member John Frusciante. Klinghoffer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the band in 2012, making him the youngest inductee ever at the time. Since leaving the band, he has been performing as a touring member of Pearl Jam and Jane’s Addiction.

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