SAN DIEGO - Students and staff at UC San Diego are mourning the loss of a 27-year-old Ph. D student who was killed in a hit-and-run crash in Del Mar.
Rachel Morrison was an aspiring marine biologist at UC San Diego. Friends describe her as a bright, promising student who was always smiling.
Sheriff’s deputies say Morrison was walking with her friend Friday evening when she was hit by a suspected drunken driver while crossing the street at Camino Del Mar and Coast Boulevard.
Morrison and her friend were in the crosswalk when the hit-and-run driver blew through a stop sign at a high rate of speed, according to deputies. Morrison died at the hospital. Her friend was not injured.
10News has learned Morrison was a Ph. D student who was interested in fisheries management.
Morrison's friends sent 10News this statement:
"Rachel was a beautiful person, inside and out. She was dedicated to her work in ocean conservation and exploration. She enjoyed simply being out on the water. She was a brilliant, giving, and selfless person that always had a smile on her face."
The driver who struck Morrison took off after the crash, but authorities were able to track the car to an apartment complex in La Jolla.
Christopher Stockmeyer, 41, was booked into jail on suspicion of felony DUI, hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter.
10News reached out to Morrison's friend who was walking with her last night, but she was too upset to talk about the crash.