Loved ones mourned the loss of a veterinary student who was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Wednesday as police searched for the person behind the wheel, who witnesses said ran past the victim as he lay motionless on the pavement.
The victim, 24-year-old Robert Ramage, was driving his car south on Balboa when he was struck by a pickup truck about 12:45 a.m. at Balboa Boulevard and Parthenia Street, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The impact on the driver’s side forced Ramage to be ejected from his vehicle.
According to witnesses, the driver of the pickup truck and possibly two passengers fled the crash scene on foot, leaving the truck in the middle of the road. Investigators said the truck was not stolen, but could not say whether they've contacted the vehicle's registered owner.
Ramage, pictured below, was found unconscious and suffering from head injuries and broken bones, LAPD said. He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Three witnesses, including resident Chenanah Bowen, stayed with the victim until help arrived.
"All I could do the whole time was pretty much pray, because it wasn’t a good look," said Bowen, who lives near the crash scene and heard the collision.
"For someone to run and leave him like that, it's awful," Bowen said through tears.
Friends and family gathered at the site of the crash Wednesday night to remember Ramage, who was working toward becoming a veterinarian at Pierce College.
"It's horrible," Ramage's friend Sean Walker said at the vigil. "Hopefully the person who did this turns themself in. Do the right thing."
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Ramage's sister, Dee Reynolds, said the supportive crowd was a great comfort to the hit-and-run victim's family.
"To have his life taken in a motor vehicle accident on the way home, a mile from home, on this spot? He worked a couple of miles right up the street," Reynolds said.
Family members and friends have started a memorial fund in his honor to help pay his final schooling expenses.
Investigators are still trying to locate the driver of the pickup truck, who may be injured, and its passengers.
"I really have faith we are going to find who did this. Justice is going to be served for my brother," Reynolds said. "Hopefully this doesn't happen for anybody else."
Anyone with information in the crash is urged to call the LAPD Valley Traffic Division at 818-644-8021.