Two women -- ages 59 and 73 -- were struck in a crosswalk by a hit-and-run driver and critically injured in Glendale Thursday night, authorities said.
The crash happened shortly after 8 p.m. at Central and California avenues, said Tom Lorenz, Glendale police spokesman. The victims were thrown from the California Avenue crosswalk and into the Central Avenue crosswalk.
The pedestrians suffered head injuries, Lorenz said. The 73-year-old was hospitalized in grave condition; the 59-year-old -- identified by family members as Bekzad Shahbazian -- was hospitalized in critical but stable condition.
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The pair was on their nightly walk when the driver of a light-colored, four-door sedan blew through a red light, hit them and kept driving, officials said. Investigators believe the car involved may have been a Nissan Altima or a Toyota Camry. The friends were returning from a visit to the mall, the 59-year-old victim's husband said.
While the victims had the right of way, police said this is a reminder to pedestrians to always look both ways before stepping into a crosswalk.
"We have pedestrians that may have had the right away, but if they had taken that extra second to take a look, rather than figure they have green light and they parted the seas and they figure everything was OK, they were protected and they crossed the street," Lorenz said. "You come across an accident situation where you’re going to be hit by a 2-ton vehicle."
Also in Glendale on Wednesday, a 75-year-old woman was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
Anyone with information in the case is urged to call the Glendale Police Department.
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