Woman Charged After Allegedly Killing Pedestrian While Texting and Driving in Westlake

LAPD officials investigate the scene of a fatal crash in the Westlake neighborhood on Jan. 23, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

LAPD officials investigate the scene of a fatal crash in the Westlake neighborhood on Jan. 23, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A woman accused of fatally striking a pedestrian while texting and driving in the Westlake neighborhood of Los Angeles could spend a maximum of six years in prison, authorities announced Monday.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charged Rosario Maximilia Valdezinda, a 38-year-old East Hollywood resident, with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter. ‘

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, Valdezinda was looking at messages on her phone around 8 p.m. on Jan. 23 when she hit 65-year-old Yong Do Kim in a crosswalk at Grand View and Sixth streets, just north of MacArthur Park.

The impact threw the victim about 30 to 50 feet, LAPD Detective Supervisor Moses Castillo previously told KTLA. The man, who lived in a nearby assisted living facility and was apparently trying to catch a bus, was declared dead at the scene after suffering severe head trauma, the officer added.

Valdezinda stopped and tried to help the 65-year-old, officials said. Authorities initially arrested her on suspicion of driving without a valid license but later booked the woman on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

County records show Valdezinda was released from custody the day after the incident. Prosecutors on Monday said they were requesting a $50,000 bail.

The District Attorney’s Office said if convicted as charged, she could face a possible maximum sentence of six years in state prison.

LAPD continues to investigate the case.

 

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