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News Release

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Media Relations

Hit and Run Driver Sought

Los Angeles: A 25-year-old man was struck by a hit and run vehicle while he was crossing a street in the early morning hours.  He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries a few hours later.

On October 22, 2005, at about 12:10 AM, Sebastian Diego Martinez, a resident of Venice, was crossing Venice Boulevard just east of Wade Street, not utilizing the marked crosswalk and pedestrian signals, when he was struck by the hit and run vehicle traveling eastbound.  The driver failed to stop and render aid, leaving Mr. Martinez lying in the eastbound lanes of Venice Boulevard. 

Less than a minute following the collision Mr. Martinez, who was apparently unconscious and unattended, was struck by a second vehicle, a 1992 Honda Accord driven by Ms. Jennifer Mertens, a 36 year-old resident of Long Beach.  Ms. Mertens remained at the scene and was subsequently arrested and booked for driving under the influence of alcohol.  Her intoxication was not considered the proximate cause of the collision.  She is being held on a $15,000.00 bail. 

Mr. Martinez was transported to Daniel Freeman Marina Hospital where he died from his injuries.

The investigation is focusing on identifying the hit and run vehicle.  Items of evidence were located at the scene and information is being obtained from several witnesses.  Information regarding the description of the hit and run vehicle is not being released at this time.

Anyone with information is requested to contact West Traffic Detectives at 213-473-0222.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).