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Hit-and-Run Driver Arrested After Fatal Pedestrian Accident in Playa del Rey


A hit-and-run driver has been arrested after 48-year-old Patricia Ann O’Donnell was struck and killed by the vehicle early morning of Feb. 13. According to a KTLA news report, the crash occurred near the intersection of Pershing Drive and Campdell Street. O’Donnell was coming out of a local business with a friend and was showing her a new skateboard when she was struck.

Fatal Pedestrian Crash

A store owner nearby told KTLA O’Donnell lives in the area and had just left a nearby Laundromat when she met up with a male friend. The business owner said it appeared that the man was giving O’Donnell a skateboarding lesson when an Audi A5 came speeding down the road and struck her. She landed against a curb and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver was later identified by police as 45-year-old Patrick Finkelstein. Officials said he fled without stopping to help the victim. The man O’Donnell was with jumped into his car and tried to chase down the driver, witnesses said. Finkelstein was apprehended by police a few hours later and was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter while driving under the influence. The investigation is ongoing.

We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of Patricia Ann O’Donnell for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Laws and Liability Issues

Based on this news report, it appears that the driver of the Audi was under the influence when he struck O’Donnell and then fled the scene of the crash. According to California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), it is illegal to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. It is against California Vehicle Code Section 20001 (a) to leave the scene of a fatal or injury crash.

Motorists are required to stop immediately at the scene of the crash and render aid to the victim. In such cases where negligence and wrongdoing are involved, drivers, in addition to facing criminal penalties can also be held financially responsible for the injuries, damages and losses they cause.

Families that have lost loved ones in pedestrian crashes or hit-and-run accidents may be able to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the at-fault driver seeking compensation for damages such as medical expenses, funeral costs, lost future income, pain and suffering and loss of love and companionship. An experienced Los Angeles hit and run lawyer will be able to advise injured victims and their families regarding their legal rights and options.




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