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Australian businessman arrested in fatal Sunset Strip crash involving Bentley; detectives say alcohol may be factor [Updated]

Booking photoAn Australian businessman has been arrested in connection with the death of a 21-year-old woman who was struck and killed by a Bentley while crossing Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Thursday.

Ryan Bowman, 34, was being booked on suspicion of manslaughter after surrendering Thursday afternoon to deputies at the sheriff's West Hollywood station.

[For the record at 8:30 a.m. Friday: An earlier version of this post listed Bowman's age as 43. He is 34.]

Bowman is suspected of being behind the wheel of a Bentley that slammed into Lauren Ann Freeman as she was in the crosswalk at Hammond Street about 11:50 p.m. Wednesday. Freeman's body was thrown about 50 feet after the collision.

Sheriff's investigators said Bowman fled in the car, and debris found at the scene suggested the vehicle could have been a dark-colored Bentley.

They later found the luxury vehicle abandoned in a residential neighborhood near the intersection of Melrose Avenue and La Cienega Boulevard about a mile and a half from the incident. That led them to  Bowman, said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

"Bowman's attorney contacted us and surrendered her client to West Hollywood detectives," Whitmore said. "He invoked his 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination and we booked him on [charges of] vehicular manslaughter."

Whitmore said alcohol "most likely played a role in this tragic event. "

-- Andrew Blankstein

Upper photo: The scene of the incident. Credit: KTLA

Lower photo: Ryan Bowman Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

Comments () | Archives (27)

So which has a greater penalty: Hit-and-run fatality, or DUI fatality?

Hide until I'm sober then surrender how are they going to prove I was piss drunk and hire a big time lawyer men I feels good to be rich

Fled the scene, abandoned the vehicle, and turned himself in 15 hours later. Too late for a breath or blood test to show him over .08. I am sure legal counsel told him to wait until his BAC was under .08 before he turned himself in. Throw the book at him and make sure he doesn't flee the country. Who is the legal and registered owner of the Bentley?

It's horrible and inexcusable how many pedestrians have been killed by cars in just this past month, many of them when crossing the street perfectly legally as was the case with the two little girls on Laurel Canyon Blvd the other day. Surface streets are not the freeway; please, obey the speed limit, stay alert, don't use your phone and of course don't drink and drive.

How very sad that a man "or should I say coward" with all that he has would kill a beautiful women, ditch the car and now turn himself in. Should we be so proud you turned yourself in (oh yes we are) but you are poor excuse for a man or a human being. If you were a man you would of stopped aided this young women and called for help. But oh no we run and hide! You can't hide from God, and now you must pay for the life you took! I hope to God this coward loses everything he has, of course it will not replace this young women or bring her back to her family and friends. But she deserve to be treated better than an animal on the highway! God Bless the family of this beautiful young lady. Drinking and driving again takes a life, and the coward RUNS!

they just re-did some crosswalks in front of the BofA in that area, and that's an extremely dangerous places to cross.

most people that are in that area (tourists) aren't aware that it's the law to stop to let pedestrians cross the road. this is so sad to hear about today. best to her friends and family during their loss.

i am assuming she was crossing at the hammond light, and he ran a red. does anyone know?

He murdered that poor girl. He should get life in prison.

Typical Aussie business man. All arrogance and alcohol!

He will not be given any jail time. Rich people don't do jail time, only poor mexicans.

Australians are notoriously known for running over their famous national animal, the kangaroo on the road and never stop to see if the animal needs medical help. Not suprised!

A simple Google search show that the individual that caused the fatality had bought the rights to GirlsGone Wild for Australia a couple years ago.


Apparently he was a Rep/Owner of: Zeal Entertainment International Pte Ltd. in Singapore.

A terrible loss and my condolences to Ms. Freeman's family and friends.

G' bye Mate.

If the driver were a mexican, this board would be flooded!

I'm confused. Foreign *alleged* criminals are protected by the Constitution? And yet you people think it's okay to strip U.S. citizens of their rights? Or is this because he's a certain color?

How tragic :( its always such a shame when young people are killed like this... she still had her whole life ahead and wasn't even doing anything wrong.. poor girl. I give him credit for turning himself in. Alcohol claims the life of yet another innocent person..

So he left the scene of his crime to make sure he was covered legally instead of calling 9-11?

I'm curious if any of the usual latimes anti-foreigner commentators will share their thoughts about this killer?

Throw the book at that SOB. In a drunken fog he probably forgot he was in the US and drove on the other side of the road.

It's good to know that at the very least, the hit and run driver (who may or may not be guilty of DUI) has been taken into custody. Ms. Freeman's family at least have the benefit of knowing that man who killed their daughter is behind bars, unlike so many other hit and run cases that have yet to be solved. I read in another newspaper that witnesses saw the Australian businessman run through a red light and strike Ms. Freeman who was in a crosswalk then. So hopefully, that would be enough to put him behind bars.


Come on guys, give us Aussies a break. We're not all like Bowman. He deserve's whatever punishment is handed out.

KABC is reporting that when they found the car that the license plates had been removed. Shady!! Sounds like he was trying to buy some time so they couldn't find him and waited til his blood alcohol level went down before he turned himself in.

So I wouldn't give him too much credit for turning himself in - like another poster did. Seems all very calculated. They had the car. they were going to find him. I'm sure that even without the license plates they could still search the VIN#. The car was registered to him.

What a horrible story.

RIP Lauren.

What a bad person. Wow.

I wonder if he was on his cell phone or texting when it happened... Just saying.

Laureens farther is one of the top attorneys in the state of Maryland. She was her parents pride and joy and there will be justice for her. Just because he has money means nothing to our family.

This ain't no buissnessman? this is a sick predator!

Ryan Bowman is a good man. It is a terribly unfortunate incident that happened. He was driving the speed limit down sunset strip, and NOT AT A LIGHT, a crosswalk in the middle of sunset strip, a girl was in the middle of. It is terrible that this happened, and he is facing the penalty. My prayers go out to Lauren and her family, but stop making Ryan Bowman look like a monster. He's a very upstanding citizen, and an extremely genuine person. The only thing that could put a guy like him behind bars, or any good man, is something as irresponsible and juvenile as drinking and driving. Let's hope that everyone thinks twice before going out next time, and driving home buzzed. Ryan, keep your head up mate, and as for Lauren, you are dearly missed.

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