Pearl Jam guitarist Josh Klinghoffer sued over fatal crash in Alhambra

Pearl Jam and former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is being sued for negligence and the wrongful death of a pedestrian who was struck and killed in Alhambra

According to court records, on March 18, 2024, Klinghoffer was driving his black 2022 GMC Yukon at Main Street and Meridian Avenue when he allegedly struck 47-year-old Israel Sanchez who was walking in a marked crosswalk. Sanchez died from his injuries sustained in the crash at the hospital. 

The lawsuit, which was filed by Sanchez's daughter Ashley, points to video evidence suggesting Klinghoffer was on his cell phone just moments before the fatal crash. 

"My dad was known for being a great chef, the most talented of his family, the greatest grandpa always full of love and joy," said Ashley Sanchez. "His smile was so infectious. His life was taken by a careless act of a person who didn’t bother to look where he was driving."

Israel Sanchez

Alhambra PD officials said Klinghoffer called the police, stayed on the scene, and cooperated with the investigation. Police said no drugs or alcohol are believed to be involved. 

So far, no arrests have been made. Klinghoffer is currently on tour with Pearl Jam.

"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," said attorney Nick Rowley.

According to Rowley, Klinghoffer made no efforts to brake or slow down, indicating that he was likely driving while distracted. Surveillance video also appears to show a phone in his hands. 

Video appears to show Klinghoffer on his phone moments before the crash

"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's attorney released the following statement, "This was a tragic accident. After which, 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."