Family offers reward to find to hit-and-run drivers that killed beloved teacher

A family is searching for answers after their brother, a beloved teacher in Los Angeles, was killed in a hit-and-run crash in East Long Beach on March 16.

The family of Velton Johnson has put together a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the hit and run driver, his older brother Garry Johnson said.

Garry said Velton had just had dinner with his other brother and was crossing the street back to his home near Seventh Street and Ultimo Avenue when he was struck by a car that was racing down Seventh Street on Monday, March 16, just before 10 p.m.

The racing cars are described as two dark colored four-door sedans going westbound on Seventh, police spokeswoman Emily Garcia said. Both fled the scene. While lying motionless in the road, Velton was then hit by a white four-door sedan on the same street. This driver also fled the scene, Garcia said.

He was then again hit by a Jeep Cherokee, whose driver stopped to render aid until paramedics arrived.

Velton was a teacher at FREE LA High School and worked with the Youth Justice Coalition, according to his brother.

“We are devastated. Velton—or ‘Mr. V’ as we knew him—was pure positivity, he loved the youth, had more patience than all of us combined, and never had a single bad or discouraging thing about anyone,” the coalition said in a Facebook post. “And, he was a GREAT and LOVING teacher—one of those teachers who you remember decades after having them in class.”

He had been teaching for about five years and had a master’s degree, according to Garry.

“He always wanted to be a teacher and help underprivileged youth, that’s always been his passion,” Garry said. “He’s been fighting for students, he just always had that.”

Police ask that anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact Det. S. Fox of the Long Beach Police Department Collision Investigation Detail at 562-570-7355. Garry Johnson can be reached by email at [email protected].

Hello Youth Justice Coalition family and friends. We are sorry to bring tragic news, because you are all carrying so…

Posted by Youth Justice Coalition on Saturday, March 21, 2020

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Valerie Osier is a breaking news and crime reporter for the Long Beach Post. She’s a Riverside native who found her love for journalism while at community college. She graduated from Cal State University, Long Beach journalism program in 2017 and covered the Palos Verdes Peninsula for the Daily Breeze prior to coming to the Post. She lives in Long Beach with her husband, Steven, and her cat/child, Jones.
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