DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - At 5:30 in the morning, before the sun came up, a skateboarder traveling southbound on Palm Drive at 3rd street, was hit and killed by an SUV traveling northbound. The driver fled the scene, but police were able to locate the vehicle on Tuesday afternoon, according to the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.
The investigation is ongoing and authorities haven't released information about the suspect or where the vehicle was found.
The police said the victim is 28-year-old Abelardo Garcia from Desert Hot Springs. Garcia's family told KESQ/CBS Local 2 News that Abelardo is a father of two and he was on his way to the bus stop to go to work when he was killed.
"It's very sad," said Cathy Romero of Desert Hot Springs. "The first thing that comes to my mind is that we see way too many people being trammeled on the streets."
The deadly crash is at least the fifth in the last six years in which a pedestrian, in this case a skateboarder, has been killed on Palm Drive.
"If you're out late at night and you're driving you need to be especially careful of watching for pedestrians," Romero said. "And if you're a pedestrian, don't take your chances."
If the driver was not intoxicated, they've taken a chance of making things much worse for themselves by fleeing the scene.
"If they were just driving, they're licensed, and it's an accident, you stop you deal with it and it's an accident," Commander Peary said. "Well, you made it a felony now that you've left and you haven't contacted anybody."
Palm Drive was closed for several hours between 2nd and 4th Streets while police investigated the crash. It was re-opened at 1:30 p.m.
Police reviewed surveillance cameras that were in place at the intersection and witnesses say the vehicle was a gold/tan Nissan SUV.
We'll bring you more information about the vehicle and any suspects involved when it becomes available.
If you have any information about the vehicle in the accident, call Valley Crime Stoppers at (760) 341-STOP. You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward.
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