LAKE FOREST (CBSLA) – Authorities are seeking the public’s help in identifying the driver who left the scene after striking and killing a pedestrian in Lake Forest.
Deputies were called about 10:30 p.m. Monday to the area of Ridge Route Drive and Rockfield Boulevard after witnesses reported seeing the victim – who had suffered an apparent head injury – down in traffic lanes, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Manager Carrie Braun.
Orange County Fire Authority personnel pronounced the victim dead at the scene. He was identified as 33-year-old Oscar Martinez of Lake Forest, Braun said.
“There was little physical evidence at the scene for investigators to establish the circumstances of the collision,” Braun said.
Stephanie Martinez never dreamed that the night after her brother-in-law had dinner with her family, she would be placing his picture next to candles and flowers near the spot where he was struck.
“Who can just let somebody lay out in the street like that, by themselves,” she said. “Somebody needs to come forward.
Authorities say Martinez was walking from his sister-in-law’s home to a friend’s house nearby.
“Knowing that tomorrow, that I won’t see him,” his niece, Evelyn, said.
His family is devastated.
“Why him? Why my brother? He was a good person,” Ruth Martinez said.
Investigators said because there was so little physical evidence at the scene, they had a hard time figuring out the circumstances that led to the incident.
Family members are asking anyone who knows what happened to come forward.
“Somebody needs to say something. We need our mind at ease and this is just not right,” Stephanie Martinez said.
Anyone who was traveling along Ridge Route Drive between 10 and 10:30 p.m. Monday and can provide information about the crash was urged to call the sheriff’s department at 949-770-6011. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Orange County Crime Stoppers at 855-TIP-OCCS.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)