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Hit-and-run driver kills Laguna Niguel skateboarder

September 7, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A search is under way for a driver who hit and killed a skateboarder in Laguna Niguel. The car involved in the crash was found nearby.

Friends say Carlos Salas was skateboarding home after hanging out with friends when he was hit at the intersection of Golden Lantern Street and Marina Hills Drive at about 4 a.m. Friday.

Authorities say Salas was hit and dragged 25 feet. He was transported to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

A damaged vehicle was discovered about a quarter mile from the scene. The Orange County Sheriff's Department released photos of the suspected vehicle, which is a black 1998 Nissan Maxima. Investigators said the car had damage to the front end, which is consistent with the type of collision in this case.

Friends are trying to comprehend how someone could hit the 20-year-old and leave him in the middle of the street to die.

"I've known him for years, he's a great person. He just makes everyone happy. He jokes, I just can't believe that this happened to him," said Chelsea Ames.

The Saddleback College student was always skateboarding, according to those who knew him.

"I can't believe he's gone. It's just really sad because he has a lot of friends, and he got along with everyone," said Neysha Caban.

Officials say the car is registered to a man in Dana Point, but it remains unclear whether the hit-and-run driver is the registered owner.

Investigators are searching for witnesses. If you have any information about this case, you're urged to call Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) TIP-OCCS or (855) 847-6227.


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