UPDATED: Laguna Beach police arrest driver after hit-and-run crash kills man, injures wife

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A 2009 Volkswagen Jetta was involved in a fatal hit and run at Pearl Street and South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Laguna Beach police

A Costa Mesa woman was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter in the hit and run death of a 60-year-old Costa Mesa man and injuring his wife as they crossed South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach Thursday.

Sysillia Morrison Montes De Oca, 18, of Costa Mesa, surrendered to Laguna Beach police around 6 p.m. Friday. She was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony hit and run. After posting the $100,000 bail set by state law, Morrison Montes De Oca was released pending arraignment.

At about 9:38 p.m. on Thursday the couple was walking in a lit, marked crosswalk at Pearl Street when a silver Volkswagen Jetta drove through the intersection and didn’t stop. When police arrived on the scene, they found a man with life-threatening injuries and woman with minor injuries.

Investigators later learned the couple was married and were visiting Laguna Beach to celebrate their anniversary, according to a press release.

Laguna Beach paramedics responded to the scene and the couple was transported to Providence Mission Hospital Mission Viejo. The man died from his injuries at the hospital.  The woman was treated for minor injuries and discharged from the hospital.

Costa Mesa resident Stanley Isaacs was identified as the deceased, according to a Laguna Beach police press release.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the victims of this tragedy and to their family during this difficult time,” Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert said in a statement.

Investigators credit members of the public in assisting with the identification of the driver, following a press release Friday.

Laguna Beach police located the suspected vehicle, a silver 2009 Volkswagen Jetta, inside an Aliso Viejo garage. The vehicle has been impounded for evidence.

Investigators haven’t ruled out drugs and/or alcohol as a factor in the traffic collision. They believe speeding contributed to the incident.

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4 COMMENTS

  1. This tragedy is a reminder to all of us that the crosswalks in LB are dangerous because all 4 lanes of traffic need to stop and most often they don’t. We must emphasize to our kids, grandkids, family, friends, and neighbors — the need to make eye contact with drivers to guarantee that each lane has stopped before proceeding through the crosswalk.
    There are far too many distracted drivers speeding through Laguna.
    Drive safe everyone!

  2. Also I tell everyone cross quickly. Especially at night when it’s hard to see people in dark clothing. I wait until all the cars have stopped before I even step into the street. This is just so so tragic.

  3. Too many people driving and texting! You can see them doing it on Coast Hwy any given minute. Cars should NOT have touch screens in them because drivers have to look away from the road to the screen. So sad this happened on a day of celebration.

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