A 33-year-old man walking across Venice Boulevard was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver early Friday morning, authorities said.
The incident happened just after midnight at the corner of Venice and Lincoln boulevards, according to Los Angeles police.
The victim, who had been trying to cross Venice Boulevard, was pronounced dead at the scene, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a news release.
The man who was struck appeared to be homeless and was carrying his belongings when the incident happened, witnesses said.
“I see this explosion of clothes that the homeless guy had,” Bruce Bauer, who witnessed the crash, told news photographers at the scene.
The driver slowed down but did not stop, Bauer said. The vehicle continued westbound on Venice Boulevard after the impact, police said.
Witnesses described the car as a black, compact sedan.
Police said they were looking for help identifying the driver, described as a female, possibly white or Hispanic. She was driving a dark-colored vehicle, possibly a Toyota, police said.
This year alone, there have been more than 14,000 hit-and-run incidents in Los Angeles, according to LAPD Cmdr. Mike Williams.
On Tuesday, Williams told the Los Angeles City Council that the number of hit-and-runs had risen 3 percent over the past year.
“It is truly a crisis,” Williams said.
Following the LAPD commander’s testimony, the City Council approved several police recommendations to deal with the problem.
Among the measures, the council said it would support state legislation to increase penalties for anyone caught after leaving the scene of an accident.
Anyone with information on the driver was urged to call West Traffic Division Detective Johnson at 213-473-0234 or 213-473-0222. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 877-527-3247 (877-LAPD-24-7).
Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stopper at 800-222-8477 (800-222-TIPS). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone., beginning the text with the letters “LAPD.”
Tipsters may also go to www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.