A 21-year-old woman was arrested Monday after allegedly fleeing the scene of a fatal crash that killed a college student in Redondo Beach over the weekend, police announced Monday.
Leila Gonzalez of Bell was apprehended Monday afternoon, one day after the vehicle involved in the deadly incident was found in a residential area not far from the crash site, according to a news release from the Redondo Beach Police Department.
Gonzalez is accused of running over 21-year-old Angelina Calderon Pinedo, who was struck by a black Audi SUV while she was crossing the street in the 1600 block of Aviation Boulevard near Grant Avenue with her sister around 9 p.m. Saturday.
The sisters were in the crosswalk at the time of the fatal incident, Lt. Shawn Freeman said.
Pinedo was dragged by the vehicle for several hundred feet before the driver briefly stopped and got out of the SUV, witnesses told KTLA. The motorist then got back into the Audi and sped off without helping the dying woman.
An image of the SUV released by police on Monday showed large dents on its hood and front end where the victim had apparently been struck.
Authorities located the suspect when they followed up on "one of the many investigative leads in the case," the release stated.
Gonzalez allegedly admitted to investigators she was behind the wheel of the SUV at the time of the crash.
She was booked on suspicion of felony hit-and-run resulting in injury/death. Her first scheduled court appearance is on Wednesday, and she is being held on $50,000.
Prior to the suspect's apprehension, Pinedo's family had pleaded with the driver to come forward.
"All my family wants right now is for them to come forward and do the right thing, because that's what she deserves," Martha Torres, another sister of the victim's, said at a prayer vigil held at the family's home in Rosemead on Sunday.
Speaking to KTLA following Gonzalez's arrest on Monday, Torres said her family was grateful to police for their work in apprehending the suspect, which will allow the family to better process their grief.
"Our focus is on Angelina right now and trying to find a way to remember her, to help our family make sense of this tragic, unnecessary accident," she said. "Angelina was the light of our family. She was the heart and soul. She was the energy that brought all of us together, something that we're all desperately going to miss."
Pinedo attended San Francisco State University and lived in Daly City but was from the San Gabriel Valley. She was visiting an older sister in Redondo Beach, and the two were walking home from someone's going away party when the fatal hit-and-run occurred.
"She had a forgiving heart," Torres told KTLA. "If my little sister was still here, she'd probably be telling the person who was driving that car that she forgives them."
Still, the family is hoping that Gonzalez will face a harsh punishment, she added.
"We are entrusting that the judicial system will levy the maximum punishment for taking the life of our Angelina," Torres said.
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the family pay for the young woman's funeral.
Police are still investigating, and anyone with information about is asked to contact Clint Daniel by calling 310-379-2477, ext. 2721, or via email at clint.daniel@Redondo.org. Anonymous tips can also be submitted through L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-8477.