HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. – A 72-year-old man was struck and killed in a hit and run accident just before getting into his vehicle on PCH. A 27-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and hit and run in the case.
At around 9:45 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 15, responding officers found the man lying on the roadway of the 16800 block of Pacific Coast Highway. A 27-year-old woman, suspected of driving the SUV that struck the man, was arrested about a mile away, according to Huntington Beach police.
The victim was rushed to UCI Medical Center in Irvine, where he was admitted in critical condition. He later succumbed to his injuries, authorities said.
Witnesses told investigators that the elderly victim was struck by a white Nissan Xterra. The police said that one of the witnesses directed them to where the SUV was located, which was approximately a mile from the accident scene.
According to a police statement, the SUV had recent collision damage that was consistent with striking a pedestrian. The officers traced down the suspect and sole occupant of the Nissan. The suspect was identified as L. Ferreira, a 27-year-old resident of Huntington Beach.
She was interviewed at the scene, and according to the police, she was arrested on suspicion of DUI and felony hit-and-run resulting in death.
The preliminary investigation found that the Xterra was travelling southbound on PCH when it veered to the right and struck the 72-year-old victim, who was about to enter a silver 2015 Ford Fiesta, which was parked legally.
California Felony Hit and Run Penalties
Technically, the crime of hit and run under Vehicle Code 20001 VC is a wobbler, meaning it can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the facts of the case.
If a hit and run is prosecuted as a felony, the defendant faces up to $10,000 in fines. When a victim is seriously injured or killed in the accident, the hit and run driver faces between two and four years in prison.