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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.

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