Jonathan Gales Died in ‘drink-drive smash’ While Crossing Road, Bafta-Winning Brit Film Director

Tributes have been paid to a British film director who was killed when a suspected drink driver smashed into him as he was crossing a road in California.

Police say Jonathan Gales, whose wife is expecting their second child, was ‘catapulted into the air’ by a Lexus travelling the wrong way down a one-way street in downtown Los Angeles on November 19.

The Londoner, who was born on the island of Jersey, was one of two men hit – with the second victim suffering severe but non life-threatening injuries.

A 39-year-old motorist, who was arrested at the scene two weeks ago, reportedly tried to escape before crashing head-on into another vehicle.

Gales – a BAFTA award-winning animation and visual effects director – was visiting a business partner in the Californian city after working in Tennessee on a commercial for car manufacturer Kia when the accident happened on Friday, November 18.

According to local reports 39-year-old Joseph Hansen Madarang has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence when the crash happened.

Police say he had been driving the wrong way on a one-way street when the crash occurred and Mr Gales was fatally struck. Footage from the scene of the crash showed two mangled cars facing each other in the middle of the street.

An LAPD spokesman said: ‘One of the pedestrians, a 36-year-old man, died from his injuries; the other, a 32-year-old man, suffered severe injuries. Both were crossing the street in a marked crosswalk at the time of the collision.

‘After hitting the men, the driver continued crashing head-on with another vehicle. Local people detained him and one driver blocked the car belonging to the suspect who is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center on bail of $130,000.’

The 36-year-old was born in Jersey and went to St Christopher’s School and Victoria College before studying architecture at the University of Brighton.

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