Friends, colleagues remember hit-and-run victim - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Friends, colleagues remember hit-and-run victim

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - We are learning more about a hit-and-run crash in Del Mar that left a 27-year-old woman dead.

Rachel Morrison and a friend were crossing Camino Del Mar at Coast Boulevard in a crosswalk Friday night when a car ran the stop sign and struck Morrison. The driver was later arrested.

"This is really unexpected and hard on all of us," one friend said.

While Rachel Morrison didn't grow up in San Diego, the Massachusetts native did have a group of friends here she considered family.

That family is now grieving trying to come to terms with her sudden death.

"She's touched a lot of people's lives...and we keep getting condolences from people on campus. She's an incredible person," friend Mattie Johnson said.

The 27-year-old was a PhD student, studying to be a marine biologist at UCSD's Scripps Institute of Oceanography. She traveled the world pursuing that passion.

But Friday night, that all changed at the hands of a suspected drunk driver.

"I know there was no mal-intent to do something or to hurt anyone but that split decision was life changing," friend Brian Zgliczynski said.

It happened at the intersection of Camino Del Mar and Coast Boulevard in Del Mar.

Rachel and her friend were walking home after having dinner at Jake's restaurant -- they were just steps away from their destination when 41-year-old Christopher Stockmeyer allegedly ran a stop sign and hit Rachel before taking off.

A license plate left at the scene led to his arrest at a La Jolla apartment complex.

As for Rachel, her friend's husband who was just a few minutes behind them gave her CPR, but it was too late. A tragic lesson loved ones hope others will pay attention to.

"It's a huge tragedy and things like this can be avoided if people just use common sense. Be safe, be smart about things...the consequences can be really tragic," Johnson said.

The driver faces vehicular manslaughter, among other charges, and is currently out on bail.

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