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Hit-and-run driver leaves woman dead near South L.A. intersection

Police are searching for a motorist who struck and killed a woman in South Los Angeles early Wednesday morning and then drove off.

The crash was reported about 5:30 a.m., around 79th Street and Western Avenue, LAPD Officer Jenny Houser said. The incident is being investigated as a felony hit-and-run, she said.

The driver, who was possibly a man and possibly driving a black Chevrolet, struck the woman and then headed south on Western Avenue toward 80th Street, Houser said.

The victim’s name is being withheld pending notification of relatives, although police described her as a woman in her 60s.

Investigators remained on the scene throughout the morning.

At least one man familiar with the area said that people frequently run across the street there on Wednesday mornings. People, he said, will come for a weekly food giveaway and then run across the street to catch the bus.

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“They see the bus coming sometimes, and they’ll just take off and run and not look,” said a man who answered the phone at Pete’s Barber Shop, but declined to give his name. “From the skid marks, it seems like this person might have been speeding also.”

The area is about half a mile from one of L.A. County’s most problematic intersections, Florence and Western Avenues, where there were 30 hit-and-runs from 2002 to 2013, according to a Times analysis of California crash records.

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