Police were asking for the public’s help Monday locating a hit-and-run driver who struck three members of a family and killed their dog as they were crossing a South Pasadena street during a walk to look at Christmas lights.
The collision occurred 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Orange Grove Boulevard and Columbia Street (map), according to a South Pasadena Police Department news release.
A husband and wife who live nearby were taking a walk to look at Christmas lights with their dog Babel and their 4-month-old daughter — who was in a sling in her mother’s arms — when an SUV turned left onto Orange Grove and slammed into them.
“He carried the mother and the body for about 10 feet, stopped after the mother and the baby rolled off the car … and then continued on,” said South Pasadena Police Department Chief Arthur J. Miller.
The driver fled the scene, continuing southbound along Orange Grove, police said.
All three family members were injured.
The 30-year-old mother, Alexandra “Ali” Hollon, and her baby were transported to a local hospital for treatment.
“We just rolled on the ground and I remember just wrapping my body around her,” Ali Hollon said. “It’s almost a miracle that it wasn’t worse.”
Hollon suffered a broken nose and cuts and contusions to her face, while the baby had two small fractures to her skull.
The father, identified as Bryan Hollon, 40, sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene.
All three were expected to recover, but the family’s 7-year-old Boston terrier Babel died as a result of the collision.
Witness Rachel Emmons described the sound of the collision as a “horrible thud,” followed by a vehicle racing away.
“What I remember most was the screaming. People were screaming and the father was screaming,” Emmons said.
She took Babel into a vet as the family was treated, but the dog could not be saved.
Bryan Hollon said the couple always makes an effort to make eye contact with drivers when crossing the intersection because they have seen collisions there before.
They assumed the driver saw them because the SUV paused, but the vehicle then sped up and plowed them over.
It was dark, so they could not see the driver, Bryan Hollon said.
He urged the driver to come forward.
“Just take responsibility for your actions,” Bryan Hollon said. “You’re either a monster or a coward by doing this.”
Authorities described the vehicle as a smaller, newer model, dark-colored SUV, possibly a Toyota. They did release any information about the driver.
The front-left blinker is white instead of amber, authorities said.
There is no surveillance video of the crash and very little to go off, Detective Frank Litt said. The vehicle was likely marked by the crash, police said.
The Police Department’s officers’ union planned to pay for the cremation of the dog.
Anyone who witnessed the crash or had any information that could aid in identifying the driver was asked to call the South Pasadena police at 626-403-7297.