Photographer Emery Becker Killed by Drunk Driver Early Sunday Morning




Emery Becker
Emery Becker was struck twice and killed by a drunk driver in the early morning hours after St. Patrick's Day - Self Portrait by Emery Becker

Hit-And-Run Driver Sought by Police, Memorial Planned

Updates with description of sedan 2:41 PM PT

Updates with CHP comments, Event details 10:58 AM PT

By DONNA BALANCIA

Popular music photographer Emery Becker was involved in a hit-and-run collision and was then struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver Sunday morning while riding his motorcycle.

The hit-and-run collision and the subsequent fatal crash occurred on the 5 freeway near Echo park at 2 a.m. after St. Patrick’s Day.  Becker was 25 years old.

The driver in the second crash, Alexandra Silva, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter, according to news reports.  The hit-and-run driver in the first accident is still at large, reports indicated. Becker survived the first collision and was standing beside his 2014 Triumph motorcycle when he was killed in the  second crash, according to news reports.

UPDATE: California Highway Patrol public information Officer Ramberto Salcido said CHP was working on contacting witnesses. The hit-and-run vehicle is described as a dark sedan which witnesses saw weaving in and out of lanes before it struck Becker, according to CHP. Anyone with information is asked to call Officer J. Aguilar of Central Los Angeles CHP at 213-744-2331.

Lauren Ruth Ward was a frequent subject of photographer Emery Becker seen here during Harvard and Stone's Seventh anniversary - Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia
Lauren Ruth Ward was a frequent subject of photographer Emery Becker, seen here during Harvard and Stone’s Seventh anniversary – Photo © 2018 Donna Balancia

Friend: Emery Becker was ‘So Loved by So Many’

Becker was known to many musicians, photographers and concert-goers as a good-natured and upbeat person who felt fortunate to blend his love of music with his passion for photography. He had many friends and was well-liked.

Friend Brittany Matyas said she had spoken to Becker’s mother who informed her of the accidents. Matyas told CaliforniaRocker.com she is trying to cope with the loss. “He was so loved by so many,” she said.

Tributes from friends, colleagues, and musicians and non-musicians alike flooded Instagram in the hours following his death.

Becker was “Someone I thought I’d be able to get to know more,” wrote musician Veronica Bianqui.

“I’ll never get used to it,” wrote members of the band Draemings. “I’ll always look for his smiling face at the front of the stage, camera in hand.”

The band Magic Bronson posted: “There wasn’t a kinder, more genuine person in the world. We truly lost a very special one and I don’t think our little corner of the world will ever quite be the same again.”

Emery Becker self portrait
Emery Becker self portrait

Tentative Event to Honor Emery Becker

Lauren Ruth Ward posted a photograph Becker had taken of her and simply wrote “Selfless capturer.” Ward was a frequent subject of Becker.

Management of The Hi Hat in Highland Park, posted on Instagram that the venue, where Becker was often found working his craft, wants to hold an event called “Emery’s Memory” on March 28 at The Hi Hat.

“To all those who knew you, Emery, you were a light in our life,” posted music industry executive Pip Moore. “Looking through your beautiful photos you can see just how deeply you connected with everyone in your life.”

“It’s shocking,” said journalist Alyson Camus of the blog RockNYCLiveandRecorded.com. “I saw him a few times at The Hi Hat. Death is very hard to accept and I hope they catch the driver.”

Anyone with information or who witnessed the crash is asked to call Officer J. Aguilar at Central Los Angeles Highway Patrol at (213) 744-2331.