By DONNA BALANCIA
California Highway Patrol investigators continued to seek information from witnesses in the freeway accidents that led to the death of photographer Emery Becker early Sunday morning.
But a new scenario has emerged about the early morning incidents that took the life of motorcycle-riding 25-year-old Becker of Burbank, a well-liked photographer who captured the local music scene.
It was initially reported by the CHP that Becker survived an initial collision first before he was struck and killed in a second accident. But a CHP spokesman said late Tuesday the possibility exists that there may not have actually have been a first “collision” and that the first incident may have been a “non-contact” hit-and-run.
“It could be that someone swerved into his lane and made him fall over, which we call a ‘non-contact hit-and-run,'” Gomez said regarding Becker, who was driving his 2014 Triumph motorcycle south on Interstate 5 around 2 a.m. following St. Patrick’s Day.
Possibility of ‘Non-Contact’ Hit-And-Run
The CHP investigators are looking at evidence like paint transfer to the motorcycle, and they are not ruling out possibilities that there was no physical contact between Becker in the first incident that left him separated from his motorcycle and vulnerable to the collision that killed him.
According to the initial CHP report, at approximately 2:05 a.m. on Sunday morning following St. Patrick’s Day, Becker was involved in a hit and run collision and was ejected from his motorcycle. According to the CHP report, Becker recovered and stood to his feet but was then run over and killed by another car driven by 22-year-old Alexandra Silva who was arrested for driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter. She was released on $50,000 bail Sunday and is due in Los Angeles Municipal Court in downtown LA on April 9, according to sheriff’s inmate records.
‘Challenging’ Investigation with Few Witnesses
“Hit and run incidents are pretty common,” Gomez said. “But in this incident there was a fatality.”
The CHP has a “vague” description so far of the first vehicle that interacted with Becker, who was driving his 2014 Triumph. He said they know the instigating vehicle was a dark sedan.
The investigation in this situation is “extremely challenging” as Gomez said few witnesses have come forth so far.
“Many people don’t want to get involved, or they may have been drinking themselves,” he said.
But there is no particular time limit on the investigation, Gomez said. The investigators do not stop taking information after a certain amount of time.
“We will complete the report,” the officer said. “In this case there is another driver involved and we have to complete the report with charges on that driver.”
Contrary to anecdotal information, Gomez said while there are cameras on the freeway, they are live feed cameras for Caltrans purposes and they do not record.
Memorials for Emery Becker by Family and Friends
Becker is survived by his parents, Susan and Vic Becker and his twin sister Clara Becker. The family will host a tribute to his life on April 7 and has started a GoFundMe page where contributors can offset memorial expenses.
Meanwhile friends have put together a memorial service for Becker called Emery’s Memory that will take place on March 28 at The Hi Hat music venue in Highland Park, where Becker often photographed musicians.
For more information on The Hi Hat event on March 28 see the Emery’s Memory Facebook Page.
CHP asks for the public’s assistance and anyone with information is asked to call Officer J. Aguilar at Central Los Angeles CHP office at (213) 744-2331.
03-18-18 Fatal TC