Erin Galligan was riding southbound along the right side PCH around 11:15 p.m. when -- according to Santa Monica police -- she swerved into the middle of the nearest lane, where she was struck by a huge white pickup truck. Galligan was thrown so far that investigators reportedly had to search for her body along the side of the highway.
Santa Monica police Sergeant Philbo Rubish tells LA Weekly that as of this morning, there are no leads in the search for the driver. The vehicle has been described as a white 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 with an extra row of seats in its cab.
According to Galligan's Facebook profile, she grew up and went to college in Pennsylvania, and has embarked on many wordly travels since then. She has photo albums from places like Bali, Malaysia and Thailand.
Emily Zaler, a semi-famous fitness personality in San Diego, writes on Twitter that she "cannot believe this..another friends life lost too soon." And commenters on the Los Angeles Times article reporting Galligan's death describe her as "a beautiful young woman" who was "full of light and love."
The BikingInLA blog has a theory as to why Galligan may have been riding along L.A.'s dangerous coastal highway so late at night:
For the last year, a sewer construction project has "required temporary rerouting of the bike path near the walkway under PCH at Entrada" right where Galligan was hit, reports the blog. But the L.A. Department of Public Works said it couldn't afford to light the alternate route. Because of this, writes BikingInLA...
... many riders, particularly women, would be uncomfortable riding on the pathway at night, largely out of sight from drivers on PCH and hidden in the shadows -- especially given the large number of homeless people and others who congregate in that area during daylight hours, let alone after dark.
Police are asking any nearby residents with surveillance cameras if they may have captured the accident on video. Witnesses, as well, should call (310) 458-8954 with any information that could lead to the suspect's capture.