Not even a day after a Los Angeles councilman called for a standing $50,000 reward in all hit-and-run crashes, a 22-year-old was struck and killed by a driver who fled the scene. Ted Chen reports from Hollywood for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept. 27, 2013.
A pedestrian killed early Friday in a hit-and-run crash at a Hollywood intersection has been identified as a 22-year-old transgender woman who friends say was a "gift."
Keymontae Mackenzie, who went by the nickname Unique, was struck after she stepped off the curb in the 6700 block of Santa Monica Boulevard, just east of Highland Avenue.
Investigators are looking for a light-colored, older model Ford Thunderbird.
A memorial continued to grow Friday evening near the site where Mackenzie was fatally struck, with friends gathering to write messages on the lamp post. One read, "With love and peace, you are in our prayers."
"He has to answer to our maker when the time comes," Katrina Romero, the victim's friend, said of the driver.
"He's a coward for what he did."
The victim's driver's license identified Mackenzie as a male, but friends at the scene of the crash referred to the victim as a female.
The fatal crash comes on the same day Los Angeles City Councilman Joe Buscaino introduced a motion for a standing $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of drivers in deadly hit-and-run crashes. Buscaino's proposal now goes to a committee hearing.
"The driver damn-well knew he hit that person -- stopped, looked back and fled," Buscaino said. "That's a cowardly act. Enough is enough."
In addition to a standing reward, Buscaino's Assembly Bill 184 seeks to extend the statute of limitations on hit-and-run crashes from three years to six years.
An analysis by the Los Angeles Police Commission found there have been about 20,000 hit-and-run crashes in Los Angeles over the past five years. About a third of those crashes were fatal.
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