A British film director was ‘catapulted into the air’ and killed by a suspected drunk driver as he crossed the road in Los Angeles.
Jonathan Gales, whose wife is expecting their second child, was reportedly hit by a car going the wrong way on a one-way street as he was crossing.
Another second man hit by the car sustained serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
The 39-year-old motorist, who was arrested at the scene two weeks ago, reportedly attempted to escape before colliding head-on with another vehicle.
British director Jonathan Gales (pictured) has been named as the victim of an accident in Los Angeles in which a suspected drunk driver crashed into him as he was crossing the road
Gales – a Bafta award-winning director of animation and visual effects – was visiting a business associate in the California town after working on a commercial for automaker Kia in Tennessee when the accident happened on Friday, Nov. 18.
According to local reports, 39-year-old Joseph Hansen Madarang was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving when the accident happened.
According to police, he was driving the wrong way down a one-way street when the accident occurred and Mr Gales was fatally hit. Footage from the scene of the accident showed two mutilated cars facing each other in the middle of the street.
An LAPD spokesman said, “One of the pedestrians, a 36-year-old man, died of his injuries; the other, a 32-year-old man, suffered serious injuries. Both were crossing the street on a marked zebra crossing at the time of the collision.
After hitting the men, the driver collided head-on with another vehicle. Local people detained him and a driver blocked the car of the suspect who is currently being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center on $130,000 bail.”
His father James said: ‘He has been an inspiration to everyone who was lucky enough to meet him, whether it be in creation, sport or leisure.
Jonathan Gales (pictured center wearing a BAFTA award with his business partners), whose wife Claire Pepper is expecting their second child, was reportedly hit by the car going the wrong way on a one-way street as he crossed the road
Pictured: The crash site is featured in an NBC Los Angeles news report on Nov. 19
“He was a caring, attentive and loving husband and father, a sparkling personality with a fascination for world culture. He had many friends who, along with his immediate and extended family, will miss him very much.”
Factory Fifteen, the film and animation company that Gales co-founded, posted a statement on its Instagram page.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing on November 19 of our co-founder, colleague and friend Jonathan Gales,” the statement said.
The statement gave details of the tragic accident and added that the other co-founders had met him when they were in college together – before founding the company and working together for nearly 15 years.
“We enjoyed working with Jono, who approached both his work and hobbies with boundless curiosity, enjoying the research, process, and mastery as much as the finished project. By working proactively and without ego, he provided both of us with a steadfast creative partner,” the statement read.
“The synergy between the three of us is hard to express. Our collaboration was absolutely intuitive and one of total trust from day one.’
The company asked for patience during the difficult time.
Gales, 36, was born in Jersey and attended St Christopher’s School and Victoria College before studying architecture at the University of Brighton.
He is survived by wife Claire Pepper and their one-year-old son – their second child is due in April next year.
The couple lived in London, where Mr. Gales worked in the film industry and won a Bafta for his role in a trailer video for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.