Friends of a woman who was killed while riding a skateboard in Playa del Rey gathered Friday with heart-shaped balloons and valentines in hand to remember her.
Patricia Ann O’Donnell, 48, was struck and killed in a hit-and-run crash on Thursday around 1:15 a.m. Patrick Finkelstein, 45, was later arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.
Broken-hearted friends came to the spot where O’Donnell died, Pershing Drive at Manchester Avenue, to remember her “free spirit.”
“I brought sparklers instead of candles because Patricia was more of a sparklers person than a candle person,” Hanala Sagal, one of her friends, said. “And she didn’t burn long, but she sure sparkled bright.”
In security footage from a laundromat showing O’Donnell’s last moments, you can see her wearing bright stripes while on her skateboard.
“She was a very dear friend of mine -- and my other half,” Carla Girauex, one of O’Donnell’s closest friends, said.
One witness tried his best to comfort her before she passed.
“I noticed she was completely unresponsive,” Edward Szajlai said. “I just got on my phone and dealt with 911. It got to the point where I had to put the phone down just to keep holding her,” he said.
That same security camera captured O’Donnell’s companion rushing to his car to chase after the driver, but it’s unclear whether that led to his DUI arrest.
Friends are now left with a painful reminder to “get an Uber, a Lyft, walk home, or pass out on your friend’s couch,” if anyone is ever not in the state to drive, O’Donnell’s friend Ambrosia said.