Orange County

Orange County Couple Struck in Marked Crosswalk, Leaving Husband Dead

The husband, identified by Laguna Beach police as Stanley Isaacs, died of his injuries after witnesses say he pushed his wife out of the way.

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A husband and wife in their 60s were struck by a hit-and-run driver in a clearly marked Laguna Beach crosswalk, leaving the husband dead, authorities said Monday.

The husband, identified by Laguna Beach police as Stanley Isaacs, died of his injuries after witnesses say he pushed his wife out of the way.

"The husband, as I guess many would do, pushed her out of the way. She had minor injuries from what I understand and he was thrown quite a distance," Tommy Kemp of Spigot Liquor said.

His wife Cathy suffered minor injuries, and was released from the hospital.

The crash was reported at 9:38 p.m. Thursday at S. Coast Highway and Pearl Street.

The two Costa Mesa residents were crossing S. Coast Highway in a marked lit crosswalk when a silver 2009 Volkswagen Jetta struck the pair. They had just finished having their second anniversary dinner at Rumari Restaurant.

They were taken to a hospital where Isaacs died.


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Less than 24 hours after the hit-and-run, Sysillia Morrison Montes De Oca, 18 years old, surrendered at the Laguna Beach Police Department around 6 p.m. Friday.

She was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and felony hit and run. She posted the $100,000 bail and was released to await the next legal steps.

Police say they believe speed was a factor in the crash, and it's not yet clear if drugs or alcohol played a role.

The silver Jetta was found by detectives in a closed garage in Aliso Viejo.

Friends say Isaacs was kind, and friendly. He was born in Canada, and he had just become a U.S. citizen.

"He just was exuding joy, never had anything bad to say about anyone. Always looked at people with love," a friend, Stacy Dumas, said.

Four days after the crash, strangers were still bringing flowers to a growing memorial, talking about what Stanley Isaacs meant to them, the man also known as "Stanta."

His neighbors like to brag he had the best Christmas display south of the north pole, a labor of love for more than 15 years with its trains and trinkets and free candy canes. It was called "Stanta's Village."

"The message of hope and love and joy and peace was in his heart always not just at Christmas," Dumas said.

The victim's friends worry about the 18-year old also from Costa Mesa, who was arrested in connection with the crash.

"She needs people to forgive her and show her the love of God so that she can heal too. She a person too," Dumas said.

Those who live nearby see the accident as a terrible reminder that even a caution light might not catch a driver’s attention.

"The cars still just whiz right by. I find myself pointing to this memorial as the cars continue to not stop," said resident Lianne Mech.

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