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A beloved Churro Vendor In Downtown Was On Her Way To Work When She Was Struck And Killed By A Drunk Driver

5:03 PM PST on January 26, 2023

    Screenshot via: GofFundMe

    The incident occurred this past Sunday as Angeles Rodriguez a street vendor known for selling churros and fruit in Downtown Los Angeles was heading to work when she was struck by a drunk driver.

    The GofundMe page where the family of the beloved street vendor is currently raising funds for funeral and memorial expenses said the single mother of three was pronounced dead at the scene. 

    Rodriguez is described by family and colleagues as a “caring and loving mom, grandmother, wife, sister, and daughter” and someone who was always willing to help out others. Receiving anyone who frequented her stand with open arms and a smile. The street vendor who worked closely with the vendor advocate group Inclusive Action was one of the early participants of the organization's micro-loan fund that help entrepreneurs like herself take their business to the next level. 

    In an Instagram post by Rudy Espinoza, Executive Director for Inclusive Action he shared how the organization was recently helping Rodriguez develop her social media profile and presence. Her business coach Luis Moran who also works at Inclusive Action said her business helped sustain her family and her absence is felt deeply.

    “She was very driven and very passionate about her work, it showed because recently she had the opportunity to do catering at Benny Boy which is a big deal to a street vendor because they are tapping into other markets,” said Moran. “We had just met a week ago to talk about her catering menu and she was so excited trying to get pictures.”

    The news has hit vendor advocates and the street vendor community hard, with many expressing the dangers street vendors face when working or making their way to work.

    “Es un dolor enorme, it’s an enormous pain we are feeling,” said Mario Ramos a street vendor who met Rodriguez while selling his ice cream in the piñata district. “She was friendly and was always trying to organize our community and would always stand up for us when the police would try and harass us.”

    He said everyone who knew her is still in shock, he is one of many who are currently helping the family with planning her funeral. Saying they have barely had time to process her death due to the stress of figuring out how they will pay for everything when as vendors they only make so much. 

    Unfortunately, incidents like these are seen all too often like in 2021 when two fruit vendors in Ontario were run over by a DUI driver leaving one in critical condition and the other 20-year-old Ariel Tucubal dead. That same year, a corn vendor in Watts was shot in the stomach while making his rounds in the evening, although he recovered from his injuries, the attack highlighted the risks and dangers vendors face on a day-to-day basis. 

    At the moment the family is also looking for legal advice as they seek justice for Rodriguez, according to Ramos the person responsible for Rodriguez's death was arrested with a $1000,000 bail, the person is said to have paid 10% of his bail and has since been released.

    The family does plan to create a buy-out where they will sell food to raise funds more details on when and where it will happen will be shared later this week. 

    Tragedies like this make us feel powerless, but we know we always have a role to play in supporting our community. Today, the very least we can do is support her family financially,” read a statement from Inclusive Action. 

    For those wanting to donate do so here. For information on the upcoming buy-out visit Inclusive Action for upcoming flyer details.

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