Skip to Content
News

Memorial Signage For Monique Muñoz, Killed By a 17-Year-Old Driver, Unveiled In West L.A.

11:30 AM PST on March 10, 2023

Signage unveiled this past Monday memorializing Monique Muñoz

On Monday morning, March 6, 2023, a memorial sign was unveiled in West Los Angeles in remembrance of Monique Muñoz, the 32-year-old woman that was hit and killed in 2021 by a 17-year-old who was speeding past 100 mph in a Lamborghini gifted to him by his father.

The sign was unveiled at the intersection of Olympic Boulevard and Overland Avenue, where the tragedy occurred just two years ago. The blue road sign reads in white letters:

“WATCH YOUR SPEED, In Memory of Monique Muñoz.”

The Muñoz family fought for justice for their daughter, and as of last year, the family reached an $18.85 million settlement in their lawsuit against the 17-year-old’s parents.

The teen involved in the tragic death of Muñoz was ordered in 2021 to serve seven to nine months in a juvenile camp after admitting a Juvenile Court petition charging him with vehicular manslaughter. The speeding incident that caused Muñoz's death was not the first time the teen had been stopped by authorities for speeding and driving without someone 25 and over accompanying him, as recommended for learning permit holders. 

A banner secured below the new memorial signage
A banner secured below the new memorial signage

Below is Janette Villafana's 2021 story on the tragedy, previously published on L.A. TACO:

[dropcap size=big]O[/dropcap]ver the weekend, West Los Angeles’s community rolled out on foot and in classic cars to honor and demand justice for Monique Muñoz, the 32-year-old woman killed in a traffic accident a month ago today.

According to police, on the evening of Feb.17, Monique Muñoz from Hawthorne was on her way home from work when at approximately 5:10 p.m., a speeding Lamborghini collided with her Lexus at the corner of Olympic Boulevard and Overland Avenue. Muñoz was about to make a left turn when she was t-boned. The driver behind the black Lamborghini was the 17-year-old son of multimillionaire James Khuri from Beverly Hills.  

According to a statement by the Los Angeles Police Department, the unlicensed 17-year-old was booked on Feb. 23rd, 2021, for “192(C)(1) PC, Vehicular Manslaughter,” but he is yet to be charged. And until he is, Muñoz’s family and friends said they would continue to demand justice for the woman they all described as a person with a big heart. 

“She really did have a heart of gold. She did not deserve this; no one does,” said her brother Phillip Muñoz.

On Saturday, cars cruised by and honked their horns, supporting family and friends who were holding signs with Muñoz picture on it. In some instances, several cars stopped to pay their respects to the family, handing flowers to Muñoz's brother to place on a shrine the community created. 

Photo by Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

Muñoz’s mother, Carol Cardona, said her daughter had much life left to live and had plans and goals that included pursuing her Bachelor's degree. She had just started a job as a receptionist at the UCLA clinic and had big dreams that included becoming a mom, a wife and buying her first home one day.

She had just started a job as a receptionist at the UCLA clinic and had big dreams that included becoming a mom, a wife and buying her first home one day.

“Her future was bright,” Cardona said. “She would always go that extra mile with anything she did, and she would bend over backward for people, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do for her.”

Since the accident, Cardona said neither law enforcement or Khuri have reached out to her or her family. She said if it weren’t for “the news media,” she wouldn't have known the 17-year-old was booked or that the father, Khuri, had issued a statement online. A statement and apology that she was not impressed with.

“I’ve seen the interview of the father trying to apologize and give me his sympathy, but no, that's too fake,” she added. “He has yet to say anything to me, to us. If he were really sorry, he would have reached out when it all happened.” 

Photo by Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

When the accident first happened, Khuri was accused of trying to hide his son’s actions online. Mitu described it as “a move that people think is a result of an expensive internet marketing campaign.” Folks online noticed that when Googling Khuri, little to no news reports or information about the crash would pop up, causing some to wonder if Khuri was behind this. 

Family and friends worry that because of Khuris’s financial status, he will get away with what his son did to Muñoz. 

“My daughter was killed, she was my everything, she was my best friend, and now she’s gone. Instead of planning her future wedding, I had to plan a funeral for her...”

Rick Silva, a friend of the Muñoz family who was at Saturday's protest with his children Gabriel and Bianca, said he is heartbroken for the family. He can't imagine being in their shoes, having to bury a daughter. 

“I’ve seen my friend and his wife go through true pain, and all they want is justice,” Silva said. “The unfortunate thing about this is that when you have that kind of money, you can buy yourself out of these situations, and that's not fair.”Some who have looked into Khuris’ history have brought up how he has “gotten away” with certain past situations. Bringing up an incident in 2019, he was accused of the battery and assault of his former partner. Supporters and friends of the family worry that this tragedy will end with the same result and that it will be dismissed, and as Cardona said, “Swept under the rug.”

Photo by Janette Villafana for L.A. TACO.

Nevertheless, Cardona said her family is resilient and focused on the criminal case, getting justice for her daughter, and continuing to celebrate and honor Muñoz, who would have turned 33 in May. Adding that she hopes District Attorney George Gascón will do what’s right and take action on the case.

Cardona also denies any reports that have been made stating that her family and the Khuri family have come to any type of financial settlement or agreement. 

“My daughter was killed, she was my everything, she was my best friend, and now she’s gone. Instead of planning her future wedding, I had to plan a funeral for her,” she said. “So no, no amount of money is going to bring my baby back.”

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Why Is Highland Park’s Last Backyard Street Punk Band Finally Calling it Quits?

"Punk music will not solve our problems," Nick Carabajal, the band's frontman and co-founder reminds us. "Only punk people."

March 1, 2024

What To Eat This Weekend: Vegan Koobideh, Oaxacan ‘Mega Tacos,’ Wagyu Tongue Carpaccio, and Coffee Brewed In Hot Sand

Plus, ooey gooey k'nafeh, a "punk room" at a luxury food and wine festival, chopped cheese in Chatsworth, and Indian-Chinese pork vindaloo dumplings on Melrose. Go out and eat this weekend.

March 1, 2024

The Six Best Tacos Along Metro’s C Line, From Norwalk to El Segundo

One of our favorite pastimes in L.A. is searching for great tacos. What better way to do it while zipping along on Metro's C line (formerly known as the green line)?

We Are Almost At Our Goal! Become a Member of L.A. TACO Now!

Memberships start at $5.95 and help us stay alive in this wild new journalism landscape. For the price of a few tacos a month, you can help keep L.A.'s only taco, news, and culture site stay spinning and churning out features about the real Los Angeles. We are 60% to our goal!

February 29, 2024

Ten (Mostly) Recognizable ‘Repo Man’ Locations You Can Visit 40 Years Later

The original film somehow managed to cohesively fuse weathered, jaded repo men, L.A.’s burgeoning punk scene, UFO cultists, generically-labeled food items, and nuclear proliferation into a dark comedy that is both a product of its time and yet feels somewhat timeless.

February 29, 2024
See all posts