Long Beach Pedestrian Critically Injured; Hit-and-Run Driver Sought: Police

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Police on Tuesday were searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck and critically injured a 59-year-old woman who was in a crosswalk.

Maria Mendoza, who was critically injured in a hit-and-run in Long Beach, is seen in a photo released by the Long Beach Police Department on Sept. 13, 2016.
Maria Mendoza, who was critically injured in a hit-and-run in Long Beach, is seen in a photo released by the Long Beach Police Department on Sept. 13, 2016.

Maria Mendoza, of Compton, was critically injured Saturday about 6:14 p.m. while walking in the area of Willow Street and Long Beach Boulevard, the Long Beach Police Department reported in a news release.

According to investigators, surveillance video appears to show a smaller SUV -- possibly a Toyota Rav-4 -- champagne or beige in color, failing to stop for a red light while traveling west on Willow Street, and subsequently striking Mendoza as she crossed on southbound Long Beach Boulevard.

Long Beach police released this image of a light colored SUV, likely a Toyota Rav-4, suspected in the hit-and-run of pedestrian Maria Mendoza on Sept. 10, 2016.
Long Beach police released this image of a light colored SUV, likely a Toyota Rav-4, suspected in the hit-and-run of pedestrian Maria Mendoza on Sept. 10, 2016.

Responding officers found Mendoza lying unconscious in the street and being treated by good Samaritans.

Mendoza was taken to a local hospital and remains in very critical condition, police said.

Witnesses told police the driver was an elderly white man with gray hair, and said the SUV did not have a cover on the spare tire.

Anyone who may have witnessed the hit-and-run crash was asked to call Long Beach Police Det. Steve Fox at 562- 570-7355.

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