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Person of interest in Venice boardwalk hit-and-run turned himself in, police say

August 03, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz and Abby Sewell

A person of interest in a lethal hit-and-run on the Venice boardwalk Saturday evening walked into a Santa Monica police station shortly after 7 p.m., about an hour after the incident, police said.

Los Angeles Police Department Lt. Andy Neiman said the man told police he was “connected” to the incident, which injured 11 others. One person remains in critical condition and two in serious condition. LAPD Robbery Homicide detectives are questioning the man, but he has not yet been charged.

The man being questioned matches witnesses’ descriptions of the driver, and there is “a good likelihood” that he is in fact the driver of the car, Neiman said.

PHOTOS: Venice boardwalk crash

Neiman could not say if the man showed signs of intoxication.

Witnesses said they believed the driver was traveling about 60 mph — others cited slower speeds — when the crash occurred about 6 p.m. near the boardwalk's intersection with Dudley Avenue, just before the sun began to set on the tourist haven.

Kevin Salveson, 44, was riding his bike with his children near the area Saturday evening when they heard a scream.

"We turned around and I saw a car heading toward and plunging into a booth ... that was terrible," Salveson said. "The guy literally turned the wheel and headed out of the booth and ... toward another.

"His window was open and I looked in the car and I saw him ... smiling," he said.

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