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Classes canceled at school after 8th-grader is killed in hit-and-run in Brentwood, students say

February 26, 2010 |  2:21 pm

Classes were canceled Friday at Harvard-Westlake middle school after the hit-and-run death in Brentwood of an eighth-grader, students said.

Julia Siegler, 13, was hit by a silver Mercedes about 7:20 a.m. Friday while crossing Sunset Boulevard near Cliffwood Drive to catch her school bus, police said.

Friends at school called Julia an excellent student, and “pretty much one of the nicest people in our school. Everybody loved her,” said a friend who did not want to be identified.

About 60 students were reportedly on the bus that Julia was trying to catch, and she may have seen the Mercedes approach and tried to run out of the street, witnesses said. She was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where she died.

Investigators were calling the accident a hit-and-run. 

Police said Julia had been crossing the street against a red light to catch a bus when she was hit by the Mercedes, which was turning right on Sunset Boulevard.

The girl's mother pounded on the hood of the car with her fists and screamed, said Cmdr. Andy Smith of the Los Angeles Police Department. A black, four-door "sporty" Toyota made a turn directly after the Mercedes, but police did not know whether it hit the girl.

The Toyota was carrying four passengers, and the driver pulled to the curb and talked with the mother, police said. Both cars left the scene before police arrived. Investigators are asking anyone with information to call (213) 473-0222.

Crisis counselors were working with distressed students at the middle school.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz in Brentwood and Amina Khan