Police continued to search Monday night for a driver who hit two trees and a pedestrian in Hollywood earlier in the day. After the crash, the driver fled on foot with his passenger. Police say they deciphered the name of the driver from the vehicle left at the scene, which was rented from Van Nuys weeks ago. Angie Crouch reports from Mid-City for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Sept. 10, 2012.
Amos Soliven Romasoc, 63, was identified Monday afternoon as the sole victim in a fatal hit-and-run crash at a bus stop earlier in the day near the intersection of Western Avenue and Romaine Street in the Hollywood area.
Witnesses reported seeing two men run from the crashed car after striking the victim, who was standing on a sidewalk. Investigators say surveillance video captured the pair changing their shirts, running into a nearby apartment complex then getting into a blue Mazda.
Investigators say they gleaned the driver's name from the vehicle left at the scene. His name will not yet be released to the public, police said.
Officers responded to the location at about 5 a.m. The hit-and-run suspect was driving erratically northbound on Western Avenue, just south of Santa Monica Boulevard, according to a witness. The car struck a tree before hitting the victim at the bus stop.
Although police initially said the car was a rental, by late morning Monday, authorities said it now appears the vehicle -- a grey Chrysler Sebring left at the scene -- is registered to a business.
"It's sad to see this happen in our country where people can't own up to what they do," said Rayford Brown, who had stopped to purchase a newspaper when he heard the crash and looked up to see the victim on the ground and a car crashed into a tree. "All you have to do is own up something like this."
The car stopped when the driver crashed into another tree, Brown said. Aerial video showed the car, with substantial front-end damage, near a tree at the intersection.
Brown ran to a fast-food restaurant to get ice for the victim, who was identified as a man in his 50s.
"I could look into his eyes and tell he was already gone," Brown said.
The suspects got into another vehicle -- a blue Mazda -- after leaving the crash location, according to witness accounts. The other driver might have been following the suspects or the men called someone to pick them up, police said.