Hit-and-run Accident Leaves 21-year-old Woman Dead on PCH

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Hit and Run Accident Causes Traffic Slowdown

A pre-dawn hit-and-run accident on westbound Pacific Coast Highway near Ramirez Canyon Road left one young woman dead and 25-year-old Pablo Carranza behind bars Tuesday morning.

The accident, which occurred shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday, happened after the woman stepped out of her car into the narrow shoulder of PCH, reportedly to stretch, and was struck by a vehicle heading westbound.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene after Carranza struck her with his vehicle and immediately fled.

According to deputies at the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, the suspect then turned and continued north up Kanan Road, where he was later apprehended in Agoura Hills.

“The suspect fled the scene northbound [westbound] on PCH and apparently he turned on Kanan Road, to where officers were waiting at Kanan and Agoura … and at that time surrendered to deputies,” Sgt. Brooks said.

Carranza is being charged with felony hit and run and is being held on $50,000 bail.

The victim, a female from Van Nuys, had just celebrated her 21st birthday Monday. She was traveling with three friends in the car who did not suffer any injuries.

The accident occurred nearly an hour and a half before sunrise Tuesday.

As of 9 a.m. Tuesday, one westbound lane remained closed and sheriffs were anticipating “quite a few more hours at least” until PCH fully reopened, citing an ongoing investigation and the arrival of the L.A. County Coroner.

The roadway eventually fully reopened around 11 a.m. Tuesday.

The accident occurred on PCH near Paradise Cove in Western Malibu, a stretch of highway that’s long been a cause of concern for local agencies and staffers based on a number of factors including narrow shoulders and high numbers of visitors in the summer, many of whom also partake in alcohol at nearby Paradise Cove Beach Cafe.

According to Lt. Jim Royal with the Malibu/Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station, the geographical nearness of this incident to Paradise Cove has “zero” to do with previous concerns raised over safety in the area.

“There’s just no connection to Paradise Cove whatsoever,” Royal said, adding, “It’s just that geographically, it’s fairly close.”

Instead, the accident likely occurred because of low visibility in the pre-dawn light.

“This was basically a vehicle hitting a pedestrian, in the dark, outside of the car, basically in the lane, under cover of darkness,” Royal said, “That’s what the issue was.”

Although sheriffs were not able to provide up-to-date numbers on fatality accidents involving pedestrians in Malibu, Royal did state that between 2004 and 2013, there were approximately 28 fatality accidents within city limits, although not all of them involved a pedestrian.

In total, sheriffs approximate that between 350 and 450 collisions occur in Malibu every year, based on data collected over the past decade.