An employee of Ralphs supermarket at the Waterside Marina del Rey shopping center was killed in a hit-and-run accident while he was walking in a crosswalk outside the store Saturday, October 28th, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officials said.

The man, identified as Patrick Conarpe, 51, of Marina del Rey, was walking westbound in the crosswalk on Mindanao Way at Admiralty Way at about 7:55 p.m., when he was struck by a vehicle traveling southbound on Admiralty, CHP Officer Blase Austin said.

The impact sent Conarpe from the number-one lane of the street into the number-two lane, he said.

The vehicle, described only as a light-colored sedan, then fled from the scene, Austin said.

A witness reported to The Argonaut that a second vehicle also struck Conarpe, but Austin said the CHP could not confirm the report that another vehicle was involved.

Conarpe was pronounced dead at the scene, Austin said.

The CHP is investigating the incident as a hit-and-run and is asking any witnesses with additional information to contact CHP officials, Austin said.

Conarpe had worked at the Ralphs since July and was training to be a wine steward at the store — a job he was “very excited” about, said store manager Chris Marshall.

Wine stewards make recommendations to customers in selecting a particular bottle of wine.

“He was one of our shining stars,” Marshall said. “He had been here a very short time but he was so well liked by everyone here.”

Bob Eggers, a wine steward at the Ralphs store, said he was walking with Conarpe at the crosswalk when the accident occurred.

Eggers said he had reached the other side of the street and looked for Conarpe, who was near the middle of the street picking up a wallet and some other items he had apparently dropped.

As Conarpe picked up the items and headed back, he was struck by a car in the number-one lane, which sent him into the number-two lane, where a second car hit him, Eggers said.

Both cars had slowed down after the impact but neither stopped, he said.

The CHP is currently investigating only the light-colored sedan as being involved in the incident, Austin said.

Eggers had been training Conarpe for the wine steward job at Ralphs.

“He just loved to come in to work,” Eggers said. “I loved working with him and thought he was real original.

“He was really good with people.”

Marshall agreed, saying Conarpe became “very engaged with all of the people” during his time at Ralphs.

“There’s not one person who didn’t love him,” she said. “He could make everyone smile.”

Marshall said Conarpe was a certified black belt instructor for tae kwon do and had studied martial arts for more than 30 years.

Ralphs employees have erected a memorial for Conarpe near where the accident occurred.

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