A 17-year-old boy killed when he was struck by a suspected drunken driver in Rancho Palos Verdes was identified today as Sean Heffernan, a Palos Verdes
A 17-year-old boy killed when he was struck by a suspected drunken driver in Rancho Palos Verdes was identified today as Sean Heffernan, a Palos Verdes High School student and athlete. A roadside memorial, including his photo and a small Irish flag, has begun at the spot on Hawthorne Blvd. by Robert E. Ryan Park. (Steve McCrank / Staff Photographer)

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A 17-year-old boy killed when he was struck by a suspected drunken driver in Rancho Palos Verdes was identified Monday as Sean Heffernan, a Palos Verdes High School student and athlete.

Sean died at a hospital Friday night, shortly after he was hit as he stood in the 30400 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, deputies said.

A 17-year-old boy killed when he was struck by a suspected drunken driver in Rancho Palos Verdes was identified today as Sean Heffernan, a Palos Verdes
A 17-year-old boy killed when he was struck by a suspected drunken driver in Rancho Palos Verdes was identified today as Sean Heffernan, a Palos Verdes High School student and athlete. Investigative road markings show where the suspected drunken driver's car collided and then crossed the median into north-bound lanes. (Steve McCrank / Staff Photographer)

The driver, Ho Seok Suh, 55, of Rancho Palos Verdes, hit the teen and three cars at the curb as he headed south in his 2004 Lexus.

Sean was standing outside the driver's side of one of the cars. Four friends - girls ages 17 and 18 - were standing on the sidewalk, but were not hurt.

After hitting the boy and cars, the Lexus veered left, drove over a raised concrete median, and came to rest in the northbound lanes, deputies said.

Suh failed a field sobriety test and was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and vehicular manslaughter deputies said. He was released after posting $50,000 bail.

Sean, a senior, was the son of Kevin and Sandra Heffernan.

A statement issued by the Palos Verdes Unified School District said he was a member of his school's cross-country team.

"Sean was an excellent student, enjoyed traveling and was an avid photographer. His greatest pleasure was hanging out with friends and family," the statement said. "Sean attended St. Paul's Lutheran Church, where he captained the church's technology services and played in the bell choir."

Sean had two siblings, Lauren and Ethan.

Sean Heffernan, a Palos Verdes High School student and athlete, died at a hospital Friday night, shortly after he was hit as he stood in the 30400 block of
Sean Heffernan, a Palos Verdes High School student and athlete, died at a hospital Friday night, shortly after he was hit as he stood in the 30400 block of Hawthorne Boulevard, deputies said. (Google Map (click on map to enlarge))

"Sean will be deeply missed by all who knew him," the statement said. "Please keep Sean and his family in your thoughts and prayers."

On Monday afternoon at the crash site, candles burned beside a small cross set up as a roadside memorial for Heffernan.

An Irish flag flapped in the warm breeze, surrounded by bouquets of flowers and plants - roses, Calla lilies and sunflowers - that people had propped up along the roadside.

One woman who stopped by in a minivan and laid a bouquet near the teenager's picture said she didn't know Heffernan but has a son his age. She left after a few minutes, crying.

Services are pending.

larry.altman@dailybreeze.com

kristin.agostoni@dailybreeze.com

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