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News Release

Saturday, February 23, 2002

Media Relations

Deadly Hit-and-Run Collision Claims the Life of a Woman

Los Angeles: On Saturday, February 23, 2002, at approximately 1:40 a.m., a fatal Hit-and-Run traffic collision occurred on 54th Street just east of Hillcrest Drive.

The collision occurred when a red 1992-1996 Toyota Lexus SE300 or SE400, struck a woman as she stood outside of her rented 2002 Dodge Neon, which was parked along the south curb of 54th Street. The victim was removing helium balloons from the rear cargo area of the Neon when she was struck from behind. The victim's boyfriend was also standing outside of the Neon, but he was not struck or injured.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the Lexus was traveling eastbound on 54th Street from Hillcrest Drive when it struck the rear of the Dodge Neon. The impact caused the Neon to spin around, throwing the victim's body into the roadway. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene by responding LAFD paramedics.

After the collision, the driver of the Lexus left the scene failing to stop, identify himself, render aid, or call for emergency medical assistance, in violation of California Vehicle Code section 20001. The trail of debris from the scene of the collision indicates that the suspect left eastbound on 54th Street, then south on Crenshaw Boulevard and east on 57th Street. The trail, however, was lost at 11th Avenue. A search of the area by ground units and an air unit failed to locate the Lexus.

The driver of the Lexus is described as a male Black.

The victim is described as a female Black, 39 years of age. The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

Detectives from South Traffic Division responded to the scene and assumed responsibility for the investigation. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the Lexus, or the identity of the driver, is urged to contact South Traffic Division at 213-485-7336. The after hours telephone number to contact is 1-877-LAWFULL.

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relation Section, 213-485-3586.