LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Sunday released the name of a teenager who was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in Hyde Park.
The victim, identified as 18-year old Markeis Vonreece Parish of Los Angeles, was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Parish was walking with friends when he was hit about 6:15 p.m. Saturday while crossing in an unmarked crosswalk at Crenshaw Boulevard and 78th Place. Witnesses said the victim was struck by a newer model Mercedes Benz that was allegedly speeding when it came through the intersection.
The victim — walking his bike across the street — apparently tried to jump out of the way but was unable to. The Inglewood High School student was thrown thirty feet as a result of the impact of the crash, according to witnesses.
“He didn’t have a chance, he didn’t have a chance,” said witness Will Corley, “his body was sliding, here on 78th, all the way down to 79th. And as he was sliding, most of his clothes came off.”
The teen’s mother told Greg Mills, reporting for KCAL9, that she was vacationing in Memphis, Tennessee when she heard the news. His father was nearby and able to accompany his son to the hospital where he died.
“It was sad, I gotta tell you. I was laying in bed when I gave his father a call just to touch base, around 11:30, and there was nothing I could say. He just said it was nice to hear my voice,” said Pastor Seth Pickens of Zion Baptist Church, the church the Parish family attends.
The pastor has known Parish since he was a young teen. “I knew him well. I watched him grow up. When I met him, he was maybe a 13-year-old kid. And now he’s a young man. It’s very, very tragic. It really is,” said Pickens.
The alleged hit-and-run vehicle was located about 2 miles away on Imperial Highway and Spinning Avenue. However, there were no signs of the driver, authorities said.
Police have gone to the home of the registered driver but said no one has shown up there for the past 24 hours.
Parish’s friends say they know who the driver is and that he lives only a few blocks away from the accident scene.
Hundreds of Parish’s friends and family held an emotional candlelight vigil Sunday evening at the spot where he was killed.
Cristy Fajardo, reporting for KCAL9, said that depending on their age, everyone who attended said Parish was like their child or their sibling.
“He had a way of touching everyone, he had a way of touching people,” said his mother Juwana.
She made an emotional plea to the driver who killed her son, a gifted athlete who played basketball, volleyball and ran track at school.
“Turn yourself in, so the family can have closure. We can rest in peace. You won’t have to be running and hiding,” Parish’s mom said.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact LAPD South Traffic Detectives Mendoza or Yount at (323) 421-2500 or (323)421-2540.
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