MID-CITY ¬ó A 30-year-old Santa Monica woman crossing Wilshire Boulevard was struck and killed early Monday by a car whose driver fled the scene, police said.
The woman, whose identity has not yet been released pending notification of next of kin, was walking north on 21st Street in a crosswalk around 12:16 a.m. when she was struck by a charcoal gray or black Toyota type sedan, which failed to stop, Santa Monica Police Department Sgt. Richard Lewis said.
Witnesses said the driver continued west on Wilshire Boulevard to 15th Street, turned north and then went east on California Avenue out of sight, Lewis said.
Police are looking for a car with a damaged front grill, hood and driver side headlight assembly, Lewis said.
This is the third fatal traffic collision in Santa Monica in the last month.
On July 1, a 54-year-old woman was struck as she was walking in a crosswalk on Lincoln Boulevard at Ashland Avenue around 10:30 p.m. The driver, identified by police as a 65-year-old Santa Monica man, was interviewed at the scene and released. He was determined to not be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident and whether or not to recommend criminal charges be filed.
The victim succumbed to her injuries at a local hospital a few hours after the crash.
Police are still searching for the driver of a white 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 extra cab truck that struck and killed a 30-year-old Venice woman July 10 as she was riding her bicycle on Pacific Coast Highway near Entrada Drive.
Police said Erin Galligan, a server at area restaurants, was struck about 11:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses said she veered into the center lane as the truck was about to pass her. The driver hit her and continued to drive onto Interstate 10.
Galligan¬ís bike was found about a half mile away from the crash site.
Anyone with information on both hit-and-runs was asked to call Sgt. Phillbo Rubish at (310) 458-8950 or the Santa Monica Police Department 24 hours a day at (310) 458-8495.
Some have called for increased penalties for those who fail to stop at the scene of a collision.
Currently the maximum penalty for a person who leaves the scene where a collision has resulted in death or permanent, serious injury is up to four years in prison and a fine of no more than $10,000, according to the California Department of Motor Vehicles. That is assuming the driver was not intoxicated at the time of the collision.
City Hall plans this fall to embark on a pedestrian action plan to help make streets safer and more aesthetically pleasing to those who walk. City officials will use traffic data to find those intersections that are most in need of additional lighting, wider sidewalks, or other measures.
A $350,000 contract with an outside consultant was approved by the City Council for that effort.
City Hall added medians to Wilshire Boulevard in hopes that it would make it safer for pedestrians to cross, providing them a place to stop if they are unable to make it to the other side of the busy boulevard before a traffic light changes or traffic fails to yield.