A memorial was set up on Friday on Wilshire Boulevard near Douglas Park for UCLA graduate Melissa Del Aguila, who was struck and killed by a taxi driver June 18 while trying to hail a cab in the 2400 block of Wilshire. (photo by Ashley Archibald)

WILSHIRE BOULEVARD — The UCLA senior struck and killed by a taxi cab June 18 spent nearly half an hour near the intersection of 24th Street and Wilshire Boulevard before the fatal accident took place, Santa Monica police said.

Melissa Del Aguila, 24, arrived at the 2400 block of Wilshire Boulevard near Douglas Park by taxi, which had picked her up at Q’s Billiards, said Sgt. Richard Lewis, spokesperson for the police department.

Del Aguila was celebrating her recent graduation with friends at the bar, a popular hangout for UCLA students, before getting in the cab at approximately 1:40 a.m.

It’s unclear what happened between the time the cab driver dropped Del Aguila off and the collision, which occurred 30 minutes later at approximately 2:20 a.m.

“She came by herself, was dropped off and paid her fare,” Lewis said. “She was in the area for several minutes before the accident happened.”

The timing has been confirmed both by the cab company, which records the times of pick ups and drop offs, and the credit card payment for the cab fare.

According to witnesses, Del Aguila was struck by another taxi while running out to hail a cab. She was transported to a trauma center at a UCLA-run hospital in Westwood in critical condition, but later succumbed to her injuries.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the driver of the Bell Cab in question was heading westbound when Del Aguila darted out from the north sidewalk.

The taxi driver was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, police confirmed. He consented to a blood test. Those results can take up to six weeks, Lewis said.

Police are still looking for witnesses of the accident and anyone that can confirm how Del Aguila traveled to Santa Monica. Del Aguila was described by police as a female Hispanic, 4 feet 10 inches, 95 pounds with long, straight brown hair, brown eyes, wearing a light floral print blouse, dark blue “skinny” jeans and white, high-heeled shoes at the time of the accident.

Those with information can contact police at (310) 458-8950 or (310) 458-8954.


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