Woman charged with murder in North Hills DUI hit-and-run that left one dead, 4 seriously injured

A woman was charged with murder in a DUI hit-and-run this summer in North Hills that left one dead and four seriously injured, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Maritza Lara, 27, of Van Nuys faces one felony count each of murder, hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person and driving under the influence of alcohol and a drug causing injury within 10 years of other DUI offense.

Police said that on June 16, Lara ran a red light at Haskell Avenue and Parthenia Street and crashed into another vehicle. She then walked away from the two-vehicle crash, leaving the other driver dead and the four passengers in her vehicle seriously injured. Deputy District Attorney Casey Higgins said the charges include an allegation of causing great bodily injury to the four people in Lara’s vehicle at the time of the crash.


Francisco Hernandez Rivas, 48, was the driver of the other vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Lara then allegedly fled but was later deported by Mexico and returned to the United States, the prosecutor said.

She remains in jail in lieu of $2.13 million bail. If convicted as charged, Lara faces a possible maximum sentence of 31 years to life in state prison.