2 killed by alleged hit-and-run driver in Exposition Park identified

Two were killed in a hit-and-run crash in Exposition Park Monday morning, and the alleged driver of the other vehicle has been arrested.

Firefighters and paramedics were sent to the 3900 block of S. Normandie Avenue around 12:40 a.m. Monday. When they got there, they reported two people were dead, according to Los Angeles Fire Department.

Officials said the suspect, identified as Elmer Santos of Los Angeles, was driving a white Jeep Wrangler Rubicon when it hit a white BMW that was pulling out of a drive-thru at the corner of Normandie and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

The two people in the BMW — 20-year-old Kevin Castillo of Pomona and 20-year-old Maria Belen Polanco of Los Angeles — were killed in the crash. Both Castillo and Polanco were identified as students at the University of Southern California

"She was such a happy soul, always positive and appreciative of what she has," a GoFundMe for Polanco read. "Always so sweet, adoring, and lit up any room she walked into. She had the brightest future ahead of her. [It's] still so unbelievably hard to believe that she was taken from us, being the beautiful person she is."

Officials said that after the crash, Santos fled the scene on foot. He was later arrested at his home.

The suspect fled the scene on foot and was later arrested at his home, authorities said.

Santos was booked on suspicion of murder, LAPD Detective Ryan Moreno told City News Service on Monday morning. Santos was being held on $2 million bail, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported.

"After the collision the driver fled immediately on foot," Moreno told reporters earlier. "There were witnesses that basically gave chase, followed him, tried to stay within eyesight of the suspect, which eventually led to his being taken into custody."