Man gets 5 years in prison for hit-and-run that killed bicyclist in Aliso Viejo

SANTA ANA — A 39-year-old Lake Forest man has been sentenced to five years in prison for a hit-and-run collision in Aliso Viejo that killed a bicyclist.

Rogelio Martinez-Cuin on Dec. 2 admitted one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI, according to court records. He was sentenced Thursday.

Martinez-Cuin ran a red light, was inattentive and driving at an unsafe speed, according to the criminal complaint.

Michael David Tomlinson of Aliso Viejo, 51, was riding on Westridge Drive, crossing Woods Canyon Drive, when he was struck by a Volvo about 6:40 a.m. Jan. 30, 2019, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The driver kept going, but witnesses gave deputies a vehicle description, she said.

The vehicle was found about a mile away, and deputies arrested Martinez-Cuin a short distance from the Volvo, Braun said.

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Pedestrian fatally struck in Santa Ana, driver flees

SANTA ANA — A pedestrian was fatally struck by a vehicle Sunday night and the driver fled the scene.

The crash was reported at 7:13 p.m. on First Street east of Bristol Street, said Santa Ana police Commander Andy Alvarez.

Arriving officers found the pedestrian in the street, Alvarez said. The pedestrian was pronounced dead at the scene.

The age and gender of the victim, and a description of the vehicle were not available until the on-scene investigation concluded, he said.

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Man gets 1 year in jail for Santa Ana hit-and-run that killed a man in a wheelchair

SANTA ANA — A 49-year-old Santa Ana man pleaded guilty Monday and was immediately sentenced to a year in jail for a collision that killed a homeless wheelchair-bound victim.

Lucio Luna pleaded guilty to a felony count of hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury. A misdemeanor count of driving without a valid driver’s license was dismissed, according to court records.

Luna was also ordered to be placed on five years probation.

Luna crashed into 61-year-old Peter Finocchi at First and Townsend streets about 10:35 p.m. on June 28, 2019, Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna said.

Finocchi was crossing First Street in a crosswalk, Bertagna said.

The driver kept going, but a resident called police the next day to report a suspicious vehicle, which investigators determined was involved in the crash, Bertagna said. Further investigation led police to Luna.

Finocchi was rushed to a hospital in extremely critical condition and was pronounced dead at 9:25 a.m. July 11, 2019, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

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Motorist pleads guilty in Aliso Viejo hit-and-run that killed a bicyclist

SANTA ANA — A 39-year-old Lake Forest man pleaded guilty Wednesday to a hit-and-run collision in Aliso Viejo that killed a bicyclist.

Rogelio Martinez-Cuin admitted one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, both felonies, as well as a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended or revoked license due to a DUI, according to court records.

Martinez-Cuin was scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 17.

Martinez-Cuin ran a red light, was inattentive and driving at an unsafe speed, according to the criminal complaint.

Michael David Tomlinson of Aliso Viejo, 51, was riding on Westridge Drive, crossing Woods Canyon Drive, when he was struck by a Volvo about 6:40 a.m. Jan. 30, 2019, according to Carrie Braun of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. The driver kept going, but witnesses gave deputies a vehicle description, she said.

The vehicle was found about a mile away, and deputies arrested Martinez-Cuin a short distance from the Volvo, Braun said.

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Costa Mesa driver gets 7 years in prison for fatal alcohol-related hit-and-run crash

SANTA ANA — A 51-year-old Costa Mesa man pleaded guilty Tuesday and was immediately sentenced to seven years in prison for a fatal hit-and-run collision in Costa Mesa nearly two years ago.

Bernardo Alvarez Zalpa admitted felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and driving with a blood-alcohol level higher than .08% or more causing injury.

He also admitted sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter and inflicting great bodily injury on the victim.

Zalpa was driving the evening of Dec. 4, 2018, south in the fast lane of the 55 Freeway, just north of Del Mar Avenue, when his 2002 Honda Accord veered across the freeway and crashed into a 2017 Mini Cooper just after 6 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. The Honda then crashed into a 1997 Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner overturned, ejecting 48-year-old Jose Olguin of Orange, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Accord veered back onto the freeway before the driver exited at Victoria Street, where Costa Mesa police detained him until CHP officers arrived.

The driver of the Mini Cooper, a 41-year-old San Clemente man, escaped injury.

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Seal Beach officer injured during traffic stop when his patrol vehicle is struck by a suspected DUI driver

A Seal Beach police officer was hospitalized Saturday after a suspected drunken driver slammed into the officer’s patrol vehicle during a traffic stop, authorities said.

The officer had pulled over another vehicle in the area of Pacific Coast Highway and Mariner Drive about 3:15 p.m., said the Seal Beach Police Department in a news release. Sometime during the traffic stop while the officer was standing next to his parked vehicle, a Ford F-150 pickup truck rear-ended the officer’s patrol car, knocking him to the ground.

A volunteer with the police department had been driving by and witnessed the crash. The volunteer ran over to aid the officer and alerted authorities, police said.

Paramedics transported the officer to a local hospital with moderate injuries, police said.

Soon after the crash, the driver of the F-150 lost control of the truck and hit a wall, police said. The driver attempted to run away, but was taken into custody by Huntington Beach police. The driver was not injured in the crash.

Authorities later identified the driver of the F-150 as Kenneth Jacob Lopez, 30, of Huntington Beach, who was arrested on suspicion of felony hit-and-run and felony driving under the influence.

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Police seek driver of car that hit pedestrian while fleeing scene of Anaheim street takeover

Police sought the driver of a vehicle that struck a pedestrian while leaving the scene of a street takeover in Anaheim early Tuesday, May 26.

Dozens of people had assembled after midnight near Harbor Boulevard and Katella Avenue, where at least 15 vehicles were seen with their tires screeching as they skidded in circles through the intersection, Anaheim Police Sgt. Shane Carringer said. Authorities responded to break up the gathering, and a red coupe was seen in surveillance footage driving away from the scene as police approached.

Investigators believe the sports car struck a man who was standing in the street, then took off westbound on Katella, police said in a news release. The victim was taken to a  hospital and treated for injuries that were described as moderate, and was expected to recover, Carringer said.

The vehicle involved in the collision may have been a Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ, police said. It did not have a license plate displayed on its front bumper, but may have had one on its dashboard.

Police asked anyone who might be able to help them track down either the vehicle or motorist involved in the crash to call APD Traffic Investigator Poer at 714-765-1474.

No other injuries or collisions were reported in connection with the street takeover, Carringer said.

“This one was actually on the smaller side compared to what we have seen,” Carringer said of the illegal  after hours gathering that preceded the crash. Similar events in Orange County and the illegal exhibitions of speed they feature have attracted hundreds of vehicles and people.

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Hit-and-run: Jogger struck and killed in Santa Ana

SANTA ANA — A pedestrian jogging along a street in Santa Ana was struck and killed by a hit-and-run vehicle and the driver was on the loose early Tuesday.

Officers responded to a call of a person down in the 1900 block of South Raitt Street, near West St. Anne Place, about 11 p.m. Monday and found the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.

It appeared the person was jogging and crossing Raitt Street at the time of the accident, the department said.

Police did not have a detailed description of the driver or vehicle.

A stretch of South Raiit Street near West Santa Ana Place was closed in both directions until further notice.

The age, gender and name of the victim were not immediately disclosed.

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Hit-and-run collision in Orange leaves pedestrian hospitalized

A motorist apparently drove off after striking and seriously injuring a pedestrian in Orange early Sunday, May 3.


Debris and a box of medical supplies at the scene of a hit-and-run crash in Orange that sent one person to a hospital with serious injuries early Sunday, May 3. (Photo by OnScene TV).

The crash happened near the intersection of Lewis Street and El Prado Avenue at about 1 a.m., Orange Police Sgt. Phil McMullin said.

Officers were dispatched to the area, and found the pedestrian in the roadway and seriously hurt. He was taken to a hospital, where he remained in treatment with extensive injuries of Sunday evening.

Investigators believe the vehicle that collided with the pedestrian was travelling south on Lewis, McMullin said. However, there were no witnesses to the incident, and a detailed description of the vehicle or its driver was not immediately available.

Police were working to identify a suspect, McMullin said. Authorities urged anyone with information regarding the crash to contact Orange Police at 714-744-7444.

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Investigators seek leads in 2019 hit-and-run that killed grandmother in La Mirada

LA MIRADA — Sheriff’s detectives asked for the public’s help Monday to find a hit-and-run driver who ran down a grandmother and two children in La Mirada almost a year ago.

The crash occurred about 1:15 p.m. Feb. 20, 2019, in the 14800 block of Escalona Road, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The grandmother, Maria Carmen Chavarria, 68, was killed and the two children injured.

The vehicle was described as a four-door sedan, authorities said.

UNSOLVED – NEED HELP
Next Thursday will mark the 1-yr anniv. Grandmother Carmen and her two grandkids were run down by a #HitandRun driver as they walked home from school, killing Grandma Carmen.

Anonymous tips to 800-222-TIPS. #NeverForget #LASD #LaMiradaPS @LACrimeStopper1 pic.twitter.com/m08tkFS1Hr

— LASD Norwalk Station (@NorwalkLASD) February 13, 2020

Anyone with information on the driver was asked to call the detectives at the sheriff’s Norwalk Station at 562-863-8711. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.

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