British movie director, 36, is killed by ‘drink driver’ whereas crossing the street in Los Angeles
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 traveling 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.
British director Jonathan Gales (pictured) has been named as the victim of a crash in Los Angeles, which saw a suspected drink driver crash into him as he was crossing the road
Pictured: The scene of the crash is seen in an NBC Los Angeles news report on Nov. 19
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.
Jonathan Gales (pictured center holding a BAFTA award with his business partners), whose wife Claire Pepper is expecting their second child, was reportedly hit by the car being driven the wrong way down a one-way street as he crossed the road
He leaves behind wife Claire Pepper and their one-year-old son – their second child is due in April next year.
The couple have 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.
His father James said: ‘He has been an inspiration to all those who were fortunate enough to meet him whether in creation, sport, or leisure.
‘He was a caring, thoughtful and loving husband and father, a bubbly personality with a fascination for world culture. He had many, many friends who, along with his close, and extended family, will sorely miss him.’
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 death on the 19th November, of our co-founder, colleague, and friend Jonathan Gales,’ the statement said.
The statement gave details on the tragic accident, adding that the other co-founders had met him while at university together – before going on to found the company and work together for nearly 15 years.
‘We loved working with Jono, who approached both his job and his hobbies with unbounded curiosity, enjoying the research, the process and the mastery as much as the completed project. Working proactively and without ego, he provided a steadfast creative partner to us both,’ the statement said.
‘It’s difficult to express the synergy between the three of us. Our collaboration was absolutely intuitive and one of total trust from day one.’
The company asked for patience during the difficult time.