Driver of Stolen Vehicle Sought in Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash Near Culver City

Police on Monday were combing for security camera video and offering a reward for information on a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a man in the community of Palms near Culver City.

The unidentified person was walking near the intersection of Venice Boulevard and Hughes Avenue Sunday around 8:30 p.m. when a vehicle that was being followed by a police patrol struck him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department Detective Scott Walton.

The victim landed about 90 yards away.

Mina Mendoza described the moments after the driver struck the man who was crossing the street.

"I can't imagine the family — their loved one was not able to go home that night," Mendoza, a Palms resident, said.

Police began following the suspect Sunday night after realizing he was driving a car reported stolen out of Venice the week before.

"They were following and trying to get other units lined up and a helicopter overhead," Walton said.

"They had not activated emergency equipment at the time the vehicle accelerated away."

Officers said they believe the driver realized he was being followed, so he sped up.

As the driver sped away from officers near Hughes Avenue, they discovered the victim's body on the road and stopped to offer aid. The victim, who has not yet been identified, died at the scene.

“The officers stayed to render aid for the downed pedestrian who succumbed to his injuries and the vehicle sped off west bound on Venice," Walton said.

Police are searching for a maroon 2001 Buick LeSabre with license plate number 7KWC773.

The suspect is only described as a male, possibly armed and dangerous.

Mendoza said that she herself was once a victim of a hit-and-run also on Venice Boulevard, blocks away from where the man was hit Sunday.

"My concern is the victim because they do not know what the family will go through about this situation so it's really sad,” Mendoza said. "To me as a hit and run victim, I feel so bad. I hate that kind of driver who doesn't stop and take care of the victim."

A $50,000 reward is being offered for information leading up to an arrest, police said.

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