Photographer Daniel “Dano” Patten Killed in Illegal Car Race
A photographer and videographer was a victim of an illegal car race that happened at 1:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the horrible event occurred close to East 230th and Banning Streets.
The Photographer was identified as Daniel “Dano” Patten, 66, who lived in Huntington Beach.
According to his friend and a couple of the guys with him, he got some warnings before the race, so he was aware of the danger. “I did tell him on Christmas, be careful going out to the street races,’” said his friend, Irvine. A couple of the guys who were with him said, ‘Hey Dano, we need to leave, this is dangerous today.”
His girlfriend, Tammy LaFlamme, said:” Illegal street racing totally wasn’t his scene.” She believes that due to many events canceled to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it was boredom that may have got the photographer to an occasion that he would usually pass up.
Footage that was posted on social media shows a black Cadillac sedan racing a blue car, which crashed into each other and then went into a nearby crowd of people. In another video, a struck spectator’s legs could be seen lying on the ground in a close distance from the two destroyed vehicles.
Patten, who was taking pictures of the cars, was killed instantly, and five others were hospitalized. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Morgan stated that the race drivers escaped the place after the car crash.
His family members sensed that something terrible might have happened as Patten didn’t join his brother for dinner. Tammy didn’t hear anything from him all night, so she went to Carson with some friends the next morning. That’s when they found his van together with pieces of the cars that killed him.
Mourners have laid candles, flowers, and other presents under a tree near the crashed cars’ scattered pieces and the tire marks. Many people who knew Patten from his photos and videos joined in paying tribute to him. Some of them even carried out performances in their lowriders, honoring his soul and telling his brother how much he would be missed.
“Devastated that he died on Christmas like this, and all of our friends are devastated,” his girlfriend said. She also added that he was the kindest man with the biggest heart and had a great passion for cars. LaFlamme hopes that the drivers who took part in the crash will be caught and that people will stop illegal racing. “It’s dangerous. People die all the time. They were just saying how many people have died from doing this,” she said.
Russ Patten said that his brother was very easygoing and kindhearted. He described him as a “neat freak” who washed his car daily and never missed a chance to photograph cars at an event.
Daniel Patten’s memorial will be held on Wednesday, January the 6th, by his close friends and loved ones. They planned a cruise through Huntington Beach. The Surf City Classics car club will give out more details about the event on social media.
This is currently an open Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department open investigation. DRE expresses their condolences to the family of Daniel Patten.