The bicyclist killed in a hit-and-run on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica Tuesday night has been identified as 30-year-old Erin Galligan, of Venice, according to Santa Monica police.
Friends described Galligan as avid cyclist and an adventurous woman with a contagious smile who moved from Pennsylvania to Los Angeles for the sunshine, not the entertainment industry.
"I don’t know of a sour word that came from the girl," Bryan McKinley, friend and coworker, told NBC4. "I guess that’s what makes the accident so tragic; it would be OK if it was just an accident.
"But what bothers everyone to their core is there was no accountability by this cowardice person who just ran off."
Galligan recently bought a blue Honda CR-V, which was in the shop for a broken axle at the time of the incident, McKinley said. The pair worked together at a restaurant in Pacific Palisades.
Investigators say Galligan was riding her bike southbound on PCH along the right side of the number three lane when she was struck from behind.
Witnesses told police Galligan swerved into the middle of the lane and was subsequently hit by a vehicle, which continued southbound on PCH top the eastbound 10 Freeway.
Galligan died at the scene in the 200 block of PCH near Entrada Drive. The incident happened around 11 p.m. Tuesday.
Witnesses described the suspect vehicle as a white, full-size pickup or sport utility vehicle. Police say they are looking for a 1999 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Extra Cab Truck with damage to the front grill, hood and headlights.
There is no further information on the driver, police said.
In Facebook photos and according to friends, Galligan would occasionally wear her helmet while biking. It was not immediately known if she was wearing one at the time of the crash.
After work Monday night, McKinley says he and Galligan went for drinks and talked about plans for the future.
"She said she was thinking about going back to school and become a teacher, so she could teach English overseas," McKinley said, adding that Galligan’s recent trip to Thailand ignited a passion for travel.
"The night before she left us, she was discussing what it is she was going to do with the rest of her life."
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Investigators Chris Dawson or Jason Olson at (310) 458-8954 or Sergeant Phillbo Rubish at (310) 458-8950 or the Santa Monica Police Department – open 24 hours – at (310) 458-8495.