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Notre Dame High holds prayer service for student killed in Sherman Oaks hit-and-run [Updated]

October 20, 2010 |  9:38 am

Priests and counselors at Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks held a campus-wide prayer service Wednesday for a 16-year-old junior killed by a hit-and-run driver while running to cross-country practice.

Conor Lynch was attempting to cross Woodman Avenue on his way to practice about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when he was struck by a sport utility vehicle, Los Angeles Police Department Sergeant Mitzi Grasso said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

[Updated at 10:14 a.m.: Police determined Wednesday that Conor was attempting to jog across Woodman Avenue in mid-block, north of Riverside Drive and south of Addison Street.]

The driver of the vehicle, identified as 18-year-old Moran Biton, continued northbound on Woodman for several blocks before being detained by LAPD officers, Grasso said.

On Wednesday morning, priests and counselors held a campus-wide prayer service to help students grapple with the news of Conor's death. 

Conor has two younger brothers, one of whom is a student at the school, said Cindy Guastaferro, who once taught Sunday school to Conor.

Guastaferro, whose son was in a biology class with Conor last year, remembered him as bright with an inquiring mind.

“He was very inquisitive and always asking questions,” she said.

[Updated at 9:46 a.m.: Family friend John Dugan, who attended Wednesday's memorial, described Conor as a helpful, self-assured kid.

“After dinner he would always get up and start putting dishes away,” Dugan said. “He knew how to take care of things.”

Dugan said Conor's parents, both attorneys, were divorced. He said Conor was close to his brothers.

“They had a nice, tight unit,” he said. “They were these three boys who all enjoyed athletics.”]

On Wednesday morning, Guastferro took a bouquet of chrysanthemums to a makeshift memorial near Woodman Avenue and Addison Street, where Conor was killed.

Notre Dame High School officials issued a recorded phone statement about Conor's death.

"The energy of the entire Notre Dame community is focused on helping the family through this difficult time,” the message said. “We encourage your prayers for the family.”

-- Kate Linthicum

Photo: Flowers left at the intersection where Notre Dame cross-country runner Conor Lynch was struck and killed Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times