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Suspect surrenders in Sunset hit-run fatality

A suspect has reportedly surrendered to L.A. County Sheriff's deputies and has been charged in a fatal hit-and-run collision.

November 11, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A businessman from Australia has surrendered to sheriff's deputies and been charged with driving over and killing a 21-year-old Hollywood woman on the Sunset Strip. Accompanied by his lawyer, Ryan Bowman surrendered late Thursday at the West Hollywood sheriff's station and was booked for suspicion of manslaughter, a sheriff's spokesman said. He faces charges for killing Lauren Ann Freeman, who was fatally struck around 11:50 p.m. Wednesday as she tried to cross Sunset Boulevard at Hammond Street.

Bowman is the CEO of Zeal Entertainment, the Australian distributor for the adult entertainment company, "Girls Gone Wild."

Detectives said the victim and her friend were at The Roxy Theatre for a concert. They were crossing Sunset Boulevard at Hammond Street to catch a taxi. The friend was about 10 feet in front of the victim.

Witnesses said the woman was struck by a dark-colored, late-model Bentley that was going eastbound at about 45 mph.

According to reports a charcoal-gray Bentley was found less than a mile away parked in a residential neighborhood on the 400 block of Westmont Dr. It matched the description and allegedly had front-end damage. The license plates had been removed but investigators said it was registered to Bowman.

The coroner removed the body early Thursday morning after collecting pieces of the car. The impact threw the 21-year-old woman about 50 feet. She was identified as Lauren Ann Freeman of Hollywood.

Officials said there were about 30 people who were leaving The Roxy Theatre at the same time just before midnight.

Some witnesses said they thought the traffic light was green for east-west traffic on Sunset Boulevard, but others said it was red, giving pedestrians crossing southbound the right of way.

Attorney William Blackwell was working in a nearby office and heard the collision through his window.

"So I ran out to her and you can tell instantly that she had been killed. It was evident."

Investigators said they need to analyze surveillance video from an MTA bus that shows the accident on tape. The bus was going east on Sunset Boulevard and stopped at Hammond Street. Detectives said they also plan to look at video from a local deli.

Anyone with information related to the incident was urged to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's West Hollywood station at (310) 855-8850.

City News Service contributed to this report.


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