Driver possibly beaten to death after attempting to run over people in Hawthorne

Police are investigating the death of a man who was possibly beaten to death by people who pulled him out of his truck after he nearly missed striking several patrons standing on a sidewalk.

Hawthorne police received several calls at about 12:10 a.m. Saturday regarding a vehicle driving on the sidewalk attempting to strike people who were standing on the sidewalk, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department reported.

According to the sheriff's office, the driver got into a verbal altercation inside the Rock It Sports Lounge and was asked to leave, but he soon returned driving his truck onto the sidewalk and nearly struck several people.

The man eventually lost control of the truck and struck a tree and a nearby business. People nearby took the driver out of the car and a fight occurred. He died at the scene, however it is currently unclear if the driver was killed during the fight or the crash. 

He has been identified by authorities as 40-year-old Miguel Lopez Santos of Los Angeles.

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Hawthorne officers arrived within minutes of the call and found Santos on the ground suffering from apparent blunt force trauma. 

Sheriff's officials said four men were considered prime suspects, but no descriptions were released and no further information was available. 

No arrests have been made.

Sheriff's homicide detectives are assisting Hawthorne police with the investigation, officials said. Anyone with information was encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500. Anonymous tips can be called in to Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477 or submitted online at

City News Service contributed to this report.

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