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13-year-old girl struck, killed in Brentwood

February 26, 2010 12:47:53 AM PST
A 13-year-old girl died Friday after being struck by two cars while crossing the street to board a school bus in Brentwood.Police said Julia Siegler, a student at Harvard-Westlake Middle School, was in a crosswalk at Sunset Boulevard and North Cliffwood Avenue when she was hit by a black Toyota Highlander SUV shortly after 7 a.m. The suspect fled the scene. It was originally reported the girl was hit by a black Mercedes.

Police said they identified the driver of the SUV. They located the vehicle and the driver late Friday evening.

A second vehicle, a black Infiniti driven by a student at Palisades Charter High School, also struck the young pedestrian. The driver stopped briefly to help Siegler and spoke with her mother, but left without giving anyone his personal information after the 13-year-old was taken away by ambulance.

The girl was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.

"Right now we're investigating it as a hit-and-run. They didn't not identify themselves. They didn't wait for the police to come by. We're investigating it as a hit-and-run which is why we need the public's help," said Cmdr. Andrew Smith, LAPD West Bureau.

Police have since talked to the Palisades Charter student. He was released without any charges, however, police are not ruling out an arrest at a later time.

The victim was crossing Sunset Blvd. against a red light, trying to catch her school bus when the accident occurred, according to investigators.

Meantime, crisis counselors were on hand at Harvard-Westlake Middle School, where a morning assembly was held to address the tragic accident.

Officials at Harvard-Westlake released the following statement:

"The Harvard-Westlake community of students, faculty, and parents is deeply stunned and saddened by the loss of one of our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as they navigate through these difficult times."

Anyone with information related to the case was urged to call the LAPD West Traffic Division at (213) 473-0222.


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