Driver, 23, Pleads No Contest in Gardena Hit-and-Run That Killed Cyclist

A 23-year-old woman who fatally struck a bicyclist, fled the scene and then told authorities her car had been stolen pleaded no contest to three criminal counts Wednesday.

Vanessa Marie Yanez is shown in a booking photo released in July 2013. (Credit: Gardena PD)

Vanessa Marie Yanez is shown in a booking photo released in July 2013. (Credit: Gardena PD)

Vanessa Marie Yanez hit 60-year-old Jesse Dotson Jr. while she was driving eastbound on El Segundo Boulevard in Gardena on June 26, 2013.

She continued driving and reported her vehicle stolen the the next morning, according to the prosecutor.

She pleaded no contest to one count each of leaving the scene of an accident and perjury, both felonies, and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Jesse Dotson Jr. is shown in a photo provided by his family. He died after being fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in Gardena in June 2013.

Jesse Dotson Jr. is shown in a photo provided by his family. He died after being fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in Gardena in June 2013.

Yanez was expected to be sentenced to two years in state prison on Sept. 25, the DA’s office said. She had faced up to six years in prison, according to a DA’s office news release issued at the time of her arraignment.

She was not in custody as of Wednesday afternoon, county inmate records indicated.

“The decent thing would have been to just stop and check him out. Call somebody. Get some help for him. He might still be here now,” the victim’s brother Reginald Dotson said after Yanez’s arrest in July 2013.

Yanez, the daughter of a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant, drove to a club in Huntington Park after the collision and reported her car stolen to police there, Gardena police said at the time of her arrest.

Dotson's bike remained at the scene where investigators worked after he was struck in Gardena on June 26, 2013. (Credit: OnScene TV)

Dotson’s bike remained at the scene where investigators worked after he was struck in Gardena on June 26, 2013. (Credit: OnScene TV)

Yanez told police in Huntington Park that when she found her car in a different place than she had parked it, the vehicle had collision damage that was not there previously, Gardena police Lt. Steve Prendergast said in July 2013.

The was no indication Yanez’s father knew about the crash or aided his daughter, Prendergast said.

The victim, a U.S. postal worker, was riding to work when he was struck, the Daily Breeze reported.