Miguel Rocha and Lisa Santee, designers at Seven7 Jeans, were killed May 16 in an apparent hit-and-run accident outside company headquarters in Vernon, Calif. They were both 25 years old.
Rocha, who was a denim technical designer, and Santee, a knit top designer, were walking on East Washington Boulevard when a Honda Civic struck and pinned them against a metal fence before being abandoned. Rocha died at the scene and Santee was pronounced dead at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
Rocha, who also owned apparel company Cali Green, and Santee both had worked for Seven 7 for about a year, said the company’s chief operating officer, Rachael Barnard.
Rocha attended California Design College from 2003 to 2006. Santee graduated from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in 2003.
“Lisa was a bright star; she lit up a room when she walked in,” Barnard said. “Miguel had such a great attitude. He had a lot of ambition and had a ton of potential as a denim designer. Both had the makings of tremendous talents who would contribute immensely to our industry.”
A suspect, Bryan Calles, 19, was arrested May 17 in connection with the fatalities and striking a third victim, Dominic Medina, a Seven 7 denim designer. Calles has been released on bail.
“It has been a very sensitive, very horrifying experience for our employees,” Barnard said.