Police rushed to the intersection of Balboa Boulevard and Parthenia Street after getting the call shortly before 1 a.m. They found two mangled vehicles and one person lying in the street unconscious.
Authorities said a tan 2001 Ford Ranger pickup truck was traveling westbound on Parthenia Street when it slammed into a 1993 Ford Escort that was traveling southbound on Balboa Boulevard. The truck continued on Balboa and collided with a parked vehicle.
The impact of the crash sent the driver of the Escort flying out of the car even though he was wearing his seat belt, according to investigators. Bystanders who witnessed the crash rushed to help the victim until an ambulance arrived.
The victim, who was dressed in medical scrubs, was rushed to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. He was identified as Northridge resident Robert Ramage, 24, a veterinary student.
"He was a good kid, a good kid," said a woman who said she was his sister, adding that her brother was coming home from work at the time of the crash.
Police say the driver of the truck fled on foot. The driver was described as a balding white man about 25-30 years old, standing 6 feet to 6 feet 3 inches tall and weighing approximately 230-280 pounds. Two male passengers in the truck also ran away.
Investigators say one of the drivers ran a red light, but they are not sure which driver was responsible. According to preliminary evidence, it appears speed did play a factor in the crash.
If you have any information about this incident, you're urged to contact the LAPD at (818) 644-8021.