PUBLIC SAFETY FACILITY

PCH crash the result of hit-and-run

Police believe the driver of a black SUV is responsible for a pileup on Pacific Coast Highway that left one victim dead and five others injured.

Investigators with the Santa Monica Police Department are asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating a vehicle that was involved in the felony hit-and-run collision that occurred on March 26, at approximately 9:05 p.m. in the 500 block of PCH.

Police said an unidentified person was driving the black SUV northbound in the no. 2 lane of PCH when the driver suddenly swerved to the left and made contact with a silver Lexus RX330 in the no. 1 lane. The contact caused the Lexus to lose control and cross into the southbound lanes of traffic, where it struck a Honda Accord head-on. This collision caused another wreck involving a vehicle traveling southbound. The driver of the black SUV fled the scene without rendering aid or identifying themselves.

As a result of the injuries sustained in the collisions, one person died at a local hospital. Five others sustained minor to moderate injuries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Investigator Chris Dawson at (310) 458-8954 or Sgt. Larry Horn at (310) 458-8950. For those calling after hours, contact the Watch Commander at (310) 458-8427.

This is the second fatal hit-and-run accident to occur within Santa Monica this year, Dawson said. There have been roughly 140 hit-and-run accidents since Jan. 1, with an average of 600 annually.

DOWNTOWN

Image database gets upgrade

The Santa Monica Public Library debuted a new database for its Library Image Archives Monday that allows users more flexibility in their searches.

The database contains images from 1875 to the present, consisting of photograph collections, slides, postcards and other images. It also links to the Palisades Historical Collection, adding another 1000 images to the mix so far.

Cynni Murphy, the Image Archives Librarian, said that the new database has vastly improved search capabilities that allow users to find images with greater ease.

“Software is always changing to newer and better products,” Murphy said. “This database is used by a variety of university libraries and other digital management collections … . It lets you do so much more with regards to accessing records.”

The new database allows users more access points to information, meaning that more search terms will lead to a specific image. Queries can be as simple as “pier” or “Santa Monica Pier,” or as specific as “breakwaters” and other terms that would previously have revealed fewer search results.

It is also easier to update information contained in the database, Murphy said. This will allow users to offer up images or corrections to information and make the system more interactive.

The popularity of the previous database, created in 2000, was the driving force behind the upgrade.

“We were responding to what people were saying,” Murphy said. “We tried to make it responsive to users and the way they want to get access to images.”

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