Man killed outside his birthday party after lying in road to stop friend from driving: police

SAN DIEGO - A 34-year-old man laid down in front of a friend's car and was killed as the woman drove away from his birthday party just after midnight Sunday, police said.

Jonathan Carlyle Merkley, of Garden Grove, was celebrating his 34th birthday at the Staybridge Suites hotel in San Diego, when he was struck at about 12:30 a.m., according to KSWB-TV.

Merkley and his friends had been drinking alcohol at the hotel when the unidentified woman tried to get behind the wheel, according to San Diego police.

Merkley walked into the path of the woman's BMW and laid down in front of the moving car, according to San Diego Police Sgt. Tom Sullivan.

The woman drove over him and kept going, police said. The victim suffered major trauma to his chest and died later at a hospital, Sullivan said.

Police know the identity of the BMW driver, but she had not been arrested as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Sullivan.

San Diego police issued this update Tuesday:

“We have interviewed the female friend and have a vehicle in custody pending examination to determine if it is the vehicle in question. We are still evaluating the other parties culpability, if any, in this collision. There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing."