WILSHIRE BLVD — A recent UCLA graduate who was out celebrating with friends was struck and killed by a taxi driver as she tried to hail a cab on Wilshire Boulevard early Saturday morning, Santa Monica police said.

The victim, 24-year-old Melissa Del-Aguila of West Los Angeles, was transported to a nearby hospital but was declared dead upon arrival by paramedics, SMPD Sgt. Richard Lewis said Tuesday.

“From our understanding, she had graduated from UCLA and was out with some friends,” Lewis said. “She was frequenting some local bars and it appears she may have been trying to hail a taxi and ran out into the number one lane of westbound Wilshire and was struck by a cab.”

The accident occurred around 2:20 a.m. in the 2400 block of Wilshire Boulevard.

The driver of the taxi did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol and consented to having his blood drawn for testing, Lewis said.

“It appears he is not at fault at this time,” Lewis said. “The incident is still under investigation.”

Police said the cab driver was working for Bell, one of the five taxi franchise companies allowed to operate in Santa Monica.

A spokesperson from UCLA said a student with the victim’s name was enrolled in the College of Letters and Science, but could not confirm if that student is the victim. A search of the UCLA student database revealed a Melissa Del-Aguila was a senior at the Westwood campus. A telephone number listed for the student was disconnected as of Tuesday.

kevinh@www.smdp.com

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