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Josh Klinghoffer faces wrongful death lawsuit

In March, Klinghoffer ran over a pedestrian while driving his SUV.

Josh Klinghoffer, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist and current Pearl Jam touring member, has been sued for wrongful death and negligence after he ran over a pedestrian with his SUV in Los Angeles in March.

The lawsuit was first reported by TMZ, which confirmed through Klinghoffer’s lawyer that the guitarist was indeed behind the wheel at the time of the March 18, 2024, accident. Video footage obtained by TMZ shows Klinghoffer’s black GMC Yukon making a left turn at a crosswalk in Alhambra, California, when it hit the victim, identified as 47-year-old Israel Sanchez.

The video shows a car run over and drag Sanchez, after which Klinghoffer gets out of the vehicle, walks to the body and returns to the car. Sanchez suffered blunt force trauma to the head and died about two hours later.

The lawsuit alleges that Klinghoffer did not apply the brakes at all and was “distracted” while driving. Los Angeles police have not yet made any arrests in the case, but the victim’s family is suing Klinghoffer for negligence and wrongful death and is seeking damages from him.

Andrew Brettler, Klinghoffer’s attorney, told TMZ: “This was a tragic accident. After Josh hit the pedestrian at the intersection, he immediately pulled over, stopped his car, called 911 and waited for the police and ambulance to arrive. Of course, he is cooperating with the police throughout the traffic investigation. It was just a tragic accident.”

Klinghoffer played with the Red Hot Chili Peppers from 2009 to 2019, replacing longtime guitarist John Frusciante. He has since joined Jane’s Addiction and Pearl Jam as a touring member and is currently on tour with Pearl Jam.