SANTA MONICA (CBS) — Authorities are stepping up the hunt for a driver responsible for a hit-and-run accident that killed a 29-year-old female cyclist in Santa Monica.

The accident happened just after 11 p.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of Pacific Coast Highway near Entrada Drive, Santa Monica police said.

Friends and co-workers of Erin Galligan say she wanted to see the world. They described her as out-going and beautiful.

She was killed leaving work, riding her bike — one of her passions — on her way to her Venice home.

Erin Swendeman, a friend and co-worker at Maison Giraud restaurant in the Pacific Palisades, said “Erin was an amazing, strong, vibrant, independent woman.”

Saturday evening, investigators told CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Art Barron that they were focusing on some surveillance video — albeit grainy — hoping for some more clues.

Galligan was traveling southbound on PCH and straddling the No. 3 lane when she swerved for some unknown reason and was hit from behind and dragged, according to officials.

Police say the impact threw her some distance requiring police officers to search for her body.

Authorities say the suspect was driving a white pick-up truck, believed to be a 1990 Silverado 1500 extra cab truck, that now has extensive front damage. Officials also believe there will be damage to the grill, hood and headlights.

The restaurant is collecting donations to help Galligan’s Pennyslvania family with funeral expenses.

Anyone with information on the accident is urged to call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 395-9931.


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