Josh Klinghoffer Sued for Wrongful Death After Tragic Accident


Tara Ziemba

Pearl Jam guitarist Josh Klinghoffer has been sued for wrongful death after allegedly striking and killing a pedestrian with his car.

The family of Israel Sanchez, 47, filed a lawsuit against Klinghoffer, 44, for his alleged involvement in a traffic collision that fatally injured Sanchez as he crossed the street in Alhambra, California, on March 18, Entertainment Weekly reported on Wednesday, July 10.

Sanchez sustained blunt-force trauma to his head and died hours afterward, according to the outlet.

“It was a tragic accident,” Klinghoffer’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, told TMZ in a statement Wednesday. “After Josh struck this pedestrian in the intersection, he immediately pulled over, stopped the car, called 911 and waited until police and the ambulance arrived. Obviously, he’s cooperating with the police throughout the traffic investigation. This was purely a tragic accident.”

Brettler did not immediately respond to Us Weekly’s request for comment.

Prosecutors allege that Klinghoffer was behind the wheel and using a smartphone before driving into Sanchez. 

Nick Rowley, a lawyer for the prosecution, issued a statement declaring that Klinghoffer “should be arrested and prosecuted for homicide. We have a video of him on his cell phone at the time he hit and killed Israel Sanchez, a loving father, in a crosswalk.”

Rowley 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.”

“My dad was known for being a great chef, the most talented of his family, the greatest grandpa always full of love and joy,” plaintiff Ashley Sanchez stated via Entertainment Weekly. “His smile was so infectious. His life was taken by a careless act of a person who didn’t bother to look where he was driving.”

Klinghoffer is currently touring with Pearl Jam. He was previously a guitarist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Jane’s Addiction.



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