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New details about hit-and-run driver

January 3, 2008 12:00:00 AM PST
Investigators released more information Thursday about the man they believe is responsible for a deadly hit-and-run crash in Carson.Investigators say the suspect, 43-year-old Roberto Carlos Paz, works as a subcontractor for Time Warner Cable. They also found no evidence that Paz was drinking when he allegedly hit the family.

Meanwhile, two members of the Mikasa family are dead and two others are clinging to life.

It was a pickup truck driven by a hit-and-run driver versus a minivan driven by a family at the intersection of Albertoni and Main Streets in Carson.

Sheriff's deputies have been searching for the suspect who ran from the crash: Roberto Carlos Paz of Long Beach. He faces felony charges in the death of Midi Mikasa, 34, and one of her 4-year-old twins.

"There's been an outpouring of support for the family," said Susan Partridge, a friend of Mikasa's.

Friends at Midi Mikasa's former workplace, the UCLA Center for Vaccine Research, gathered to collect sympathy cards and mourn.

"Midi coordinated clinical studies of new promising vaccines to fight many infectious diseases like influenza, avian influenza, and anthrax," Partridge said.

Mikasa was formerly a teacher, an intensive care nurse. She was active in her church. Her job called for recruiting patients for research, following their progress, and gaining their confidence.

"If they don't trust you, nothing works well, and Midi exuded trust - it was a non-issue," pediatrics professor Dr. Ken Zangwill said.

"We've gotten a tremendous number of calls from current and past employees from our research collaborators across the country," Partridge said.

The center is located within sight of the hospital where Mikasa's surviving son and husband are in critical but stable condition.

Sheriff's investigators say Paz was driving at a high rate of speed and that there is no sign he tried to brake before hitting Mikasa's van.

If you have any information as to whereabouts of Roberto Carlos Paz, you're asked to call L.A. County Sheriff's Depart. at (310) 830-1123.


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