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Ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist sued for wrongful death in driving accident

Josh Klinghoffer, former guitarist with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, is being sued for wrongful death and negligence after allegedly running over and killing a pedestrian.

According to reports in both Variety and TMZ, the incident happened in Alhambra, California and the lawsuit was filed by the family of  Israel Sanchez, the 47-year-old victim.

The incident happened on March 18 and the lawsuit alleges that Klinghoffer was on his phone while driving an SUV.

It goes on to claim that as Klinghoffer was making a left turn, Sanchez was walking across the street on a marked crossing. Sanchez was hit by the car and later died from his injuries.

In a statement shared to Pitchfork, Klinghoffer’s lawyer, Andrew B. Brettler, said: “This was a tragic accident. After the car struck the pedestrian, Josh immediately pulled over, stopped the vehicle, called 911, and waited until police and the ambulance arrived. He is fully cooperating with the traffic investigation.”

The Sanchez family lawyer, Nick Rowley, claimed to Variety that they “have a video of him on his cell phone at the time he hit and killed Israel Sanchez.”

He continued: “Israel Sanchez was on his way to the grocery store to make soup for his family and never came home. He did everything right, looking for oncoming traffic and abiding by pedestrian signage, but tragically Mr. Klinghoffer, in a rush and on his phone, hit him fatally from behind with a large SUV. The loss and grief that the Sanchez family now faces is immense. We will not stop until there is accountability and justice for Mr. Sanchez and his family.”

Klinghoffer played guitar with the Red Hot Chili Peppers from 2009 to 2019 and in 2020, it was announced that he would be leaving the Chilis after 10 years. He later said that there were no hard feelings between him and the band.

He was later replaced by long time member John Frusciante.

Since leaving the band, Klinghoffer has been performing as a touring member of Pearl Jam and Jane’s Addiction.

NME has reached out to representatives of Klinghoffer for comment.

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