SANTA MONICA—A Santa Monica man has been arrested on suspicion of a fatal hit-and-run that transpired in Playa Del Rey Thursday, February 13.
The victim identified as 48 year old Patricia Ann O’Donnell, was leaving a local laundromat with a friend at about 1 a.m. According to security video, O’Donnell and her friend exit the business and head towards her SUV parked outside. She took a skateboard out of her SUV and began to ride it throughout the parking lot.
O’Donnell rode out of the parking lot and onto the street wearing a headlight when she was struck by a black Audi 5. According to reports, after being hit by the car she abruptly landed on the curb. The suspect in the Audi proceeded northbound without stopping to assist O’Donnell.
LAFD paramedics found O’Donnell at the far right lane of Pershing Drive and Manchester Avenue unresponsive. After lifesaving efforts were made officials pronounced O’Donnell dead at the scene. According to LAPD, the vehicle and the driver involved were nowhere to be found upon arrival.
Officials were able to track and arrest the man who may have been responsible. The suspect has been identified as Patrick Finkelstein, 45, of Santa Monica. He was arrested and booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence. Finkelstein’s bail is set at $100,000.
According to Captain Brian Wendling of LAPD, hit-and-runs have become a major issue in the city of Los Angeles. Prior to Finkelstein’s arrest Wendling made this statement:
“This is the second one I’ve been on in the last four weeks. Identify yourself. If you get involved in a traffic collision, don’t make it a felony crime. Just stop, come forward and don’t be part of the problem, be a part of the solution.”
This case is an ongoing investigation. If you have any information related to this case please contact LAPD’s West Traffic Division.