Friends on Facebook and Twitter identify the victim as Santa Monica resident Claire Rose. They say she was celebrating her birthday at the time she was killed. "Rest in peace Claire Rose," writes Jasmine Vo. "You've always lit up the room when you walked in."
Another friend asked for help from witnesses on Reddit:
"An amazing girl was killed at about 1/2am in a hit and run on Wilshire and 22nd. We need witnesses. If you saw or hear anything, please get in touch. Thank you."
Santa Monica police tell City News Service that the victim was walking north on 21st street, crossing Wilshire Boulevard in a designated crosswalk, when she was hit around 12:15 a.m.
But instead of stopping to help, the Toyota driver kept zooming west on Wilshire. From there, cops have gathered that the vehicle turned right on 15th Street and right on California before disappearing into the night.
On the Reddit post, which has racked up 50 comments, a user called "thefooz" blames poor lighting and a shortage of stoplights for the frequent pedestrian deaths in northeast Santa Monica:
"Have you ever driven on wilshire in santa monica? It's like russian roulette for pedestrians. Half of the streets don't have lights for their crosswalks, so pedestrians have to cross halfway, stand next to a 5 foot tall bush and hope that cross-traffic can see them and will stop. It's literally the least pedestrian friendly street I've ever seen."
The Santa Monica Police Department is overloaded in hit-and-run investigations right now. On June 23, comic-book legend Roger Slifer was
killed nearly killed while crossing the street at 4th and Colorado. And just last week, a 30-year-old cyclist from Venice died when she was thrown from her bicycle along the PCH. When we spoke with Sergeant Phillbo Rubish regarding those investigations -- both unsolved -- he sounded desperate.
"We're still trying to identify the vehicle and get a plate" in the Slifer hit-and-run, he said. "We don't have any witnesses that can give us specifics. We're still hoping somebody will come forward."
Anyone with any information regarding the most recent crime is urged to call Sergeant Rubish at (310) 458-8950.