LOCAL L.A. Now

Scooter rider killed in crash with Santa Monica police cruiser ID'd

A man who died after a collision with a Santa Monica police vehicle Saturday was identified by coroner's officials Wednesday as a 30-year-old Highland resident.

Walter James was driving a dark-colored 2013 Taotao scooter east on Pico Boulevard when he collided with a Santa Monica police officer's patrol car, which was traveling north on 4th Street, officials said.

The patrol car was marked and equipped with emergency lights, said Karina Munoz, a spokeswoman for the California Highway Patrol, which is investigating the crash.

For reasons still under investigation, the scooter and police cruiser slammed into each other around 7:40 a.m. at the Pico and 4th intersection near Santa Monica High School.

It's still unknown who had the green light at the intersection as CHP investigators review footage from a city street camera that captured the wreck. Investigators are also trying to determine if the officer was on her way to a call at the time of the fatal collision, Munoz said. 

"The scooter was in pieces," Munoz said about the scene.

The L.A. County coroner said his death was caused by "multiple blunt force injuries."

The officer, who was not identified, sustained moderate injuries, Muniz said.

[For the Record 11:12 a.m. PDT April 10: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that James died on Sunday.]

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alicia.banks@latimes.com

Twitter: @AliciaDotBanks

 

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