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Tribute Grows, Fundraiser Being Planned for Hit and Run Victim

Friends of Carlos Salas, 20, who was killed Friday by an alleged hit and run driver still at large, continue to hold vigil at crash site.

Not even the heat could keep devoted friends from paying their last respects to their friend, who was killed in a fatal accident Friday morning.

An alleged hit and run driver in a 1998 black Nissan Maxima is said to have possibly hit and dragged Salas around 3:48 a.m. Friday, according to police.

Gail Krause, spokesperson for Orange County Sheriff's Department, said police are still searching for the driver of the car found about one quarter of a mile from the scene.

"The car is a black 1998 Nissan Maxima that is registered to a Dana Point resident," she said. "However, we don't know if the owner is the person who was driving the car at the time. Investigators did find physical evidence on the car that coincides with what they found at the scene. It does appear to be a hit and run accident and the man was dragged before he was left."

Salas later died of injuries at a local hospital, according to authorities. There was a skateboard found near the scene. 

on Saturday afternoon lighting candles, leaving flowers, and simply honoring their friend. A small basket now sits on the lawn if passerby want to donate money for the famly.

"A woman stopped by earlier today and said her fiancé had died in a car crash.s She emptied her wallet into the basket and gave everything she had," said friend, Eman Alsmadi, 19, of Laguna Niguel. "People have been coming and going since it happened."

Flowers, new and wilted from the summer sun dot the lawn, and a large posterboard covered with photos of Salas is tacked to a neighborhood sign.

But it is perhaps Salas' black baseball hat perched atop a wooden post, surrounded by more flowers and tributes, that stands out the most.

"It was his hat, yes, he wore it all the time," said friend, Nellie.

Alsmadi said she and a number of Salas' friends are in the process of organizing a memorial for their friend to be held "hopefully next weekend."

"We want to do something to remember him and we want to help raise some money for the funeral, and other costs to help his family," she said.

Friend Max was also among the group of about 20 remembering Salas on Saturday.

"He was actually using my skateboard when he was hit," he said. "He had borrowed it."

He said the skateboard is now in the hands of investigators.

Salas was a student at Saddleback Community College and he recently turned 20 in August, he held a few jobs, his friends said.

Anyone with information on the crash, or the driver, is asked to contact investigators at 949-425-1860.

Steve September 11, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I was driving by around 4pm yesterday and there was a motionless girl lying in the south crosswalk that had been hit by a car. The paramedics came and were putting a neck brace on here so it looked like she was going to make it. It's become a very dangerous situation. While I was waiting to get through the intersection I witnessed one of the guys emptying his water bottle into a passing car as he yelled at the lady driving by. Hardly the charitable attitude they are trying to portray. Sunday there was also a steady stream of people going back and forth between the accident and the canyon. Pretty clear what they were doing down there. As bad as the accident was, the OCSD needs to focus on cleaning up the area instead of writing speeding tickets down the street. We don't need an "Occupy Laguna Niguel" permanently set up at the intersection.
June September 11, 2012 at 01:38 PM
You should be ashamed of yourselves! A Child has died! I hope none of you have to ever experience what his mother and father are going through right now!! These people are grieving!!!! This group of his friends are grieving! This is the 2nd friend they have lost!!! Everyone grieves differently! You should be praying for this family Shirley! Jenny, you are full of TRASH inside, really!!!
Kim Smith September 11, 2012 at 02:33 PM
Saw another accident on that very corner yesterday. Looked like a women was hit on Golden Lantern. I think it was one of the kids parents. I did not see anything written on the net about it. The women looked like she was hurt pretty bad.
La la September 11, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Excuse you all but someone was killed on that corner. Sorry it's ruining your stupid suburban nothingness. You two, Jenny and Shirley, have no heart and no sympathy.
La la September 11, 2012 at 03:54 PM
And Jenny, how in the hell do you know that those kids are gross people??? His FAMILY is out there. People who CARE. A young man was killed by and drug underneath a vehicle. And the person ran. Let me ask you Jenny, how would you feel if the same thing happened to someone you care about and you didn't have enough money to bury them. Imagine that you selfish selfish human being.
Christina Lowe September 11, 2012 at 04:40 PM
.... words words & more words.... everyone has their OWN opinion about everything that goes on in this world... there is no reason for others to be RUDE or MEAN to other comments.... it's their OWN opinion... you should respect that
Christina Lowe September 11, 2012 at 04:41 PM
... funny thing is, I haven't seen one post on FB about this incident LOL ... or twitter LOL...
La la September 11, 2012 at 05:55 PM
Uhm because u didn't know Carlos. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ALL OF YOU IS THERE NO SYMPATHY LEFT IN THIS WORLD?!?!?! This is no laughing matter there are people who love Carlos reading this and your indifference is not wanted here. Go LOL somewhere else. Where there aren't grief striken people reading your stupid and unsympathetic comments.
La la September 11, 2012 at 06:02 PM
You are being rude. Not me. I actually had the pleasure of knowing the victim. You're just a stranger looking in from the outside who doesn't have a solitary clue what you are talking about. Have a nice day.
La la September 11, 2012 at 07:15 PM
No. It doesn't mean anything. Get out of here you're so rude and inconsiderate.
auna September 11, 2012 at 09:52 PM
Christina Lowe what the hell is wrong with you.. this isn't an "lol" situation. And yes your right everyone has there own opinion so do us as in people that care a favor and keep your opinion to yourself. And another thing Christian Lowe "funny thing is" you probably have nothing better to do than to blog about a tragity and all you care about how funny it is. I'm not a random person in this community. I'm a very active member at st. Tims church and Laguna niguel community and its disgraceful knowing there's people like Jenny and shirly.
Tony Maurillo September 12, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I can't imagine the grief that this family is enduring right now. A loving family member one day and a lifeless body discarded on the roadside by a callous driver the next day. This was a life. Wake up!!! My daughters went to middle school with him and one tells me that when she was bullied, Carlos was there to support her. Yet a vigil to remember his kind spirit and an opportunity to raise some needed funds attracts the wrath of some in this community? Life has some unfinished business for a few of you wretched souls.
June September 12, 2012 at 03:17 AM
La La, love you! So true!!! People remember, we all put our pants/dress's on the same! You should all stop and pray for this family instead of your selfish heartless souls!
June September 12, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Christina, Shirley, Jenny you are all pretentious, sick, sad lonely souls! God bless Carlos, his family and all his friends and people who are holding vigil and their heartbreak of a loss of a great person. My son is one of them and these kids and their parents are in pain.
Kim Schmidt September 12, 2012 at 04:16 AM
I am the parent of one of those 'disheveled late teens' that are trying to raise money to help fund the funeral of their very close friend that was so viciously slaughtered at that intersection. I think, D.P. (and any of the rest of you that have something rude and uncalled for to say), that you should take a walk in the shoes of those kids for the tiniest of moments so that YOU can experience at least a fraction of the pain, heartache,confusion and loss that they are living. You should be ashamed of yourselves. They are out there in the hot sun asking for help through their tears to assist his family in giving their friend a decent and respectful funeral. Their SECOND friend to be murdered by an unknown in less that two years. Get off your snobby, better than thou high horses and realize that you may be hurting the already wounded by making inconsiderate comments like this while, like cowards, hiding behind the anonimity of your computers. I'm proud of my son and all of those that are making an effort for their friend. I pray that one of your children or one of their friends is not taken from this life in that horrific manner. You'd probably consider it an inconvenience.
Kim Schmidt September 12, 2012 at 04:33 AM
That's because you, Christina, like the rest of these nasty people didn't know this person and obviously have nothing but snide comments to make, so WHY in God's name would you see it posted on Facebook or Twitter?
Caring Parent September 12, 2012 at 04:02 PM
Kim, I too am the parent of one of those "disheveled" kids, but you need to keep in mind that actions of few become an unfair reflection of many. Unfortunately what some people are observing is not created in their mind, it is what is being seen. I know our sons and daughters are grieving the loss of their friend and want to honor him, so they really need to take control of the situation and not allow the friends that are portraying all of them in a bad light to continue with their poor decisions. The comments made about setting up a trust account at the bank will truely generate more funds for the family. We are unfortunately in a time when people do not trust other's intentions no matter what they look like, disheveled or not. Handing out flyers with the trust account information works better than trying to collect funds in a bucket. This is not meant to be argumentative, but rather informative for both sides of this ridiculous argument going on. People ARE grieving, and people DO care, let's get more people to care by not giving a reason to judge the few actions of Carlos' friends that need a gentle reminder that their actions have an affect on people's perceptions. As for me, I continue to pray for the family, and ALL of Carlos' friends, that they may find peace during this horrific time.
June September 12, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Does anyone know what the status is of finding the registered owner and/or driver?
Just a Mom September 12, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Thank you Caring Parent, you took the words right out of my mouth. A few have ruined it for the truely grieving family and friends. It was disgusting what was going on, and I only wish the parents of some of these kids stepped in and help give them some guidance on how to handle the situation. It is also unfortunate that another girl was struck by a car over this and I only hope she makes a full recovery. I never gave any kind of a donation as my thoughts were that the cash would be miss handled by the few drunk, drugged out, half dressed guys that would push signs into the side of the car. If they want to set up a family trust and pass out flyers I am sure the community would fully support it. BTW, I know this group of friends claim they lost another friend less than two years ago, but where was the vigil and support for that poor family. just sayin!
June September 13, 2012 at 03:19 AM
I overheard that the driver is protecting his underage son who was driving and has left to Mexico! Do any of you know about this or can confirm this?
June September 13, 2012 at 03:20 AM
Correction: The owner of the vehicle is protecting his underage son.
Happy Camper September 13, 2012 at 05:42 AM
@ June, interesting comment you made about the driver aka murderer of Carlos fleeing to Mexico. I wondered about that as well since the police can't seem to find him. Wouldn't surprise me that he left the country. Good luck getting the "authorities" in Mexico to cooprerate. This family needs this low life apprehended! Our community needs this as well - JUSTICE for Carlos.
La la September 13, 2012 at 05:45 PM
@ June. You are most likely correct. But luckily they have the car and know who the owner is. Hopefully, one way or another, the police will be able to figure it out. My mom is a lawyer and told me that the person who owns the car cannot be held responsible if it cannot be proven he was driving. Even though the vehicle is registered to him. There's absolutely no proof in this case. Zip. Except the damage on the car. This is so horrible I just don't even know what to say :( But if the owner does know something they wont be able to keep lying for long. JUSTICE FOR CARLOS!!!!!
Happy Camper September 14, 2012 at 01:36 AM
Very early Friday morning it will be a week since Carlos was MURDERED. Let's not forget that this is not just an "accident", it's cold blooded murder and murderer is on the loose. Detectives are on this and hope they are making progress. I can tell you from personal experience that when a loved is MURDERED you cannot focus on your daily life knowing the person who created all this pain nonchalontly walks the earth living and breathing while your loved one is not. It is a long, difficult, sad and depressing road the Salas family will be going through. Apprehending Carlos' killer may bring some closure for the family - but won't bring back Carlos. Killer of Carlos do the right thing - turn yourself in.
Happy Camper September 14, 2012 at 01:42 AM
Debbie, this is a correction to my precious comment: Very early Friday morning it will be a week since Carlos was MURDERED. Let's not forget that this was not just an "accident", it's cold blooded murder and a murderer is on the loose. Detectives are on this and I hope they are making progress. I can tell you from personal experience that when a loved one is MURDERED you cannot focus on your daily life knowing that the person(s) who created all this pain nonchalontly walk the earth living and breathing while your loved one is not. It is a long, difficult, sad and depressing road the Salas family will be going through. Apprehending Carlos' killer may bring some closure for the family - but won't bring back Carlos. Killer of Carlos do the right thing - turn yourself in.
Happy Camper September 14, 2012 at 05:34 AM
Turn yourself in - murderer of Carlos. Show your face, take responsibility and ask for God's forgiveness. May God grant you the backbone to do the right thing. The Salas family deserve this.
Happy Camper September 14, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Debbie...8:10 pm comment I made: correction to my "previous"comment, not "precious" comment! Gotta get a handle on my spell check!
melissa m September 14, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Really? why is it that this Christina Lowe monster is allowed to make comments such as LOL..i havent seen this on FB. Your a horrible human being. Apparently you are missing something...it's called a conscience.
maddie coyne September 15, 2012 at 09:54 PM
You people are so rude its disgusting. Im one of those "gross people" who was standing on the corner to raise money for my friend Carlos and in MY opinion no one wants all your inconsiderate opinions. Cant stand people around here. Have some respect. And actually everytime the cops came they didnt mind what we were doing because they knew Carlos and they know all of us, they just had to showup for every call you stuckup people made abt us. And the cops should be kicking us out instead of giving speeding tickets? Haha no. They should be finding the guy who killed Salas
Nick Aho December 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM
what ever u want to say about how it was handled im pretty sure the FACTS are, 1.they needed to raise money 2.they dont have time for making bank accounts THEIR BESTFRIEND JUST PASSED AWAY 3. they raised all the money by the 2nd day, 2 DAYS OF RAISING MONEY FOR THEIR BESTFRIENDS FUNERAL if u ask me it looks like it was a success, got what they needed to get done and way faster than you could ever inform people of any other methond, efficiency,speed, and they had wayy more to deal with ALL at the same time. good job guys, carlos would be proud!

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