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(KTLA) – A former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist is facing wrongful death and negligence charges after he struck and killed a pedestrian in California in March.

Josh Klinghoffer was driving a GMC Yukon in Alhambra on March 18 when he fatally struck Israel Sanchez, according to a lawsuit filed by Sanchez’s family.


In the lawsuit, the family claims there is “video evidence” showing Klinghoffer on the phone immediately before the collision.

“My father was known as a great cook, the most talented in his family, the greatest grandfather, always full of love and joy,” said Ashley Sanchez, Israel’s daughter, in a press release announcing the lawsuit. “His smile was so contagious. His life was taken by the careless act of someone who wasn’t paying attention to where he was driving.”

  • Israel Sanchez
  • Josh Klinghoffer SUV
  • Josh Klinghoffer and Eddie Vedder

Andrew Brettler, an attorney for Klinghoffer, told TMZ that the March 18 incident was “a tragic accident.”

“After Josh struck this pedestrian in the intersection, he immediately pulled over, stopped, called 911 and waited for the police and ambulance to arrive,” Brettler said. “Of course, he is cooperating with the police throughout the traffic investigation. This was a completely tragic accident.”

Klinghoffer, 44, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 at age 32 with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, making him the youngest inductee. (That record is now held by Ilan Rubin of Nine Inch Nails.) Since leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers in 2019, Klinghoffer has also been a touring member of Pearl Jam and is listed as a contributing musician on their latest album.