O.C. Man Fatally Struck During His Birthday Party Was Trying to Stop Drinking Friend From Driving: Police

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A 34-year-old man who was killed during his birthday celebration in San Diego was trying to stop his friend from driving after she had been drinking when he was fatally struck, police told KTLA sister station KSWB.

A man was killed at his own birthday celebration when he tried to stop a friend from getting behind the wheel after drinking at a San Diego hotel on Aug. 21, 2016. (Credit: KSWB)

A man was killed at his own birthday celebration when he tried to stop a friend from getting behind the wheel after drinking at a San Diego hotel on Aug. 21, 2016. (Credit: KSWB)

Jonathan Carlyle Merkley, of Garden Grove, was celebrating his birthday with friends Saturday night at the Staybridge Suites in the 6600 block of Mira Mesa Boulevard.

The group had been drinking alcohol at the hotel when the unidentified woman tried to get behind the wheel of her white BMW shortly after 12:30 a.m., the San Diego Police Department told the station.

Merkley attempted to stop her from leaving by lying down in front of the car, according to police Sgt. Tom Sullivan.

The female driver ran her friend over and kept on driving without rendering aid to the badly injured man, KSWB reported.

Merkley suffered major trauma to his chest. He was transported to a hospital in La Jolla where he died less than an hour later, according to the San Diego County coroner's office, which identified the victim.

His birthday was on Saturday, coroner's records showed.

As of late Sunday morning, the BMW driver has not been arrested.

“She needs to turn herself in. You need to understand there was a mistake that was made, but to do the right thing,” hotel guest Gloria Williams told the station. "I think this is crazy, we don’t value each others lives.”

Anyone with information about the deadly hit-and-run is urged to call San Diego police at 888-580-8477.

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