Witness: Santa Monica Hit-and-Run Driver "Didn’t Stop, No Brakes, Nothing"

Claire Rose was the latest victim in a recent rash of hit-and-run incidents

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A tearful vigil took place Tuesday night for hit-and-run victim Claire Rose. Some mourners think conditions along Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica where the crash occurred are unsafe for pedestrians. John Cadiz Klemack reports for the NBC4 News at 11pm on Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Friends sang a tearful "Happy Birthday" Tuesday night at the site of a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a woman on her 30th birthday early Monday morning.

    The incident occurred at the corner of 21st Street and Wilshire Boulevard. Police believe the suspect’s vehicle was traveling westbound on Wilshire when it struck Claire Rose shortly after midnight.

    Watch: Rash of Hit-and-Run Crashes Raises Concerns

    Santa Monica Hit-and-Run Driver Sought

    [LA] Santa Monica Hit-and-Run Driver Sought
    Charles Tobias says he saw Claire Rose get hit by a hit-and-run driver in Santa Monica on Monday, July 16. "The car just kept on driving didn't stop, no brakes, nothing. Just like it hit a bug on a windshield," he says. Angie Crouch reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 17, 2012.

    Rose was walking to the store when she was struck by what police say could be a charcoal grey or black Toyota, possibly a Prius, with significant front-end damage.

    "We turned for a second and heard a pop," Charles Tobias said. "I saw this girl flying through the air like a rag doll and land on the ground face down. The car just kept on driving – didn’t stop, no brakes, nothing. Just like it hit a bug on a windshield."

    Rash of Hit-and-Run Crashes Raises Concerns

    [LA] Rash of Hit-and-Run Crashes Raises Concerns
    In 2010, nearly half of the collisions reported to the Valley Traffic Division were hit and runs. Several recent hit-and-run incidents – including one this weekend that killed a man – has officials reminding LA motorists to stay alert in their vehicles and on the street. Lolita Lopez reports from the Wilshire District for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 16, 2012.

    Rose's friends passed out fliers pleading for information in the case and left flowers at a makeshift memorial near the site of the incident.

    "She was just an amazing person -- really great, bright light, wonderful, awesome free-spirit," said Natasha Owen, friend.

    Rose has plans to celebrate her 30th birthday with her boyfriend, Sasha, in Palm Springs Tuesday.

    Police are checking area businesses to see if surveillance video might have captured the hit and run.

    Some neighbors suggest the city should put reflective lights on the pavement to better illuminate the crosswalks.

    Monday's incident was the latest in a string of hit-and-run crashes -- many of them fatal -- across LA. Last week, 30-year-old Erin Galligan was killed after a driver struck her while she was riding her bicycle on Pacific Coast Highway in Santa Monica.

    Friends of Rose echoed the same sentiment expressed by Galligan's: hope that the driver will do the right thing.

    "Why did you not stop, and leave a poor girl in the road like this?" said one friend. "I don’t have any hatred toward anyone, but I think the right thing to do is turn yourself in."

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