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Police seek driver who crashed, left passenger behind to die from injuries in Miracle Mile [Updated]

January 3, 2010 | 12:51 pm

A driver hit a big-rig truck on the Santa Monica Freeway and fled the scene early this morning, leaving his wounded 20-year-old passenger behind to die from his injuries, according to the California Highway Patrol.

About 3:25 a.m., officers responded to an accident on the eastbound Santa Monica Freeway in the Miracle Mile section of Los Angeles. They learned that the driver of a 2005 BMW hit a 1998 International truck, which flipped and jackknifed on the La Brea Avenue onramp, CHP Officer Krystal Carter said.

The BMW, which came to rest blocking two freeway lanes, had two passengers. The front passenger, a Huntington Park man, died from his injuries shortly before 5 a.m. [Updated at 2:53 p.m.: County coroner's officials identified the victim as Paul Stout and said he was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at 4:55 a.m.]. The rear passenger and the driver of the truck sustained moderate injuries.

The driver, a Lawndale man, fled on foot and is wanted on suspicion of hit and run and driving under the influence of alcohol, according to the CHP.

-- Seema Mehta