Former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer sued for wrongful death and negligence

Josh Klinghoffer onstage
(Image credit: Jim Bennett via Getty Images)

Former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist Josh Klinghoffer is being sued for wrongful death and negligence after being behind the wheel of a car that struck and killed a pedestrian earlier this year.

According to a report in TMZ, the incident occurred when Klinghoffer was driving a GMC Yukon in Alhambra – a city in the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles County, California – in March. Video obtained by TMZ shows a man using a crosswalk being struck by a black SUV making a left turn. The driver subsequently pulls over to check the victim before returning to their car.

"It was a tragic accident," Kinghoffer's lawyer Andrew Brettler tells TMZ. "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."

The lawsuit claims that the victim, 47-year-old Israel Sanchez, died hours after being struck due to the blunt force trauma to the head he sustained when dragged across the road by Klinghoffer's car.

No arrests have been made in connection with the incident.

Klinghoffer, who played guitar for the Red Hot Chili Peppers for 12 years, appearing on 2011's I'm With You and 2016's The Getaway, is currently on the road with Pearl Jam. He's performed as a touring member of a number of bands including Jane's Addiction, the Butthole Surfers, Gnarls Barkley and Sparks.

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.