A 34-year-old Australian businessman living in Venice has been charged in connection with a hit-and-run collision that killed a 21-year-old woman in West Hollywood late Wednesday, Nov. 10, authorities said.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Ryan Bowman Nov. 15 with leaving the scene of a collision following the death of Hollywood resident Lauren Ann Freeman on Sunset Boulevard, district attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison said. Bowman, a director of Sydney-based Zeal Entertainment, which owns the rights to “Girls Gone Wild” videos for Australia, has been released on bail, according to the district attorney’s office.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 4 in Beverly Hills Superior Court.
Freeman was crossing Sunset Boulevard at Hammond Street near the Roxy Theatre shortly before midnight when she was struck by a car, Sheriff’s Department officials said. Witnesses reported seeing the victim in the crosswalk as she was hit by a grey two-door 2007 Bentley driving eastbound on Sunset, Sheriff’s officials said. Freeman was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the Bentley allegedly fled in his car without stopping to render aid. There were no license plates on the suspect’s car, but there was visible damage due to the impact of the collision, Sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s investigators suspect that alcohol may have been involved in the accident.
“This is a tragedy for everyone involved. Our hearts go out to the grieving family of Lauren Freeman,” West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station Capt. Kelley Fraser said.
At about 8:20 a.m. Nov. 11, sheriff’s deputies canvassing the area found a Bentley with body damage and no license places abandoned in the 400 block of Westmount Drive in West Hollywood.
Later that day an attorney contacted detectives saying that Bowman, the registered owner of the vehicle, would like to speak to investigators in connection with the fatal accident, Sheriff’s officials said.
Bowman was arrested at the Sheriff’s station for vehicular manslaughter and his passport was held by detectives, officials said. The investigation is ongoing.