A man released after being arrested in connection with the death of a 57-year-old woman in a hit-and-run in Silver Lake has been charged in the case, police said Thursday.
Freddy Prieto, a 47-year-old Norwalk man, is facing charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing property damage after Christina Garcia was fatally struck in the early morning of Jan. 16, Los Angeles police said in a news release.
Garcia, a wife and mother of three, was killed while taking her usual morning walk along the 1800 block of Hyperion Avenue at about 6 a.m. Her family said she’d taken the route for 15 years and on that day, as she had often done, was stopping to collect any recyclables she saw to help fund her daughter’s college tuition.
The incident was captured on surveillance video, which showed a tan sedan spinning out onto the sidewalk after losing control along Hyperion, first striking a parking sign, then some trash cans, and eventually Garcia.
The driver, now identified as Prieto, was seen getting out of the car to check the damage. But he got back in and sped off without apparently tending to Garcia or calling authorities.
Garcia’s body was found around 7 a.m. next to the trash cans.
At a press conference announcing Prieto’s arrest on Jan. 17, the day after the crash, Garcia’s son Edwin Aleman said it was the act of fleeing the scene that made the incident so painful.
“(He) just left her there, like she was an item,” he told reporters. “That’s it.”
Investigators have pointed out that Garcia might have not died immediately, and there’s a possibility she could have been saved.
The defendant was released hours after his arrest and had been held on $100,000 bail, inmate records show.
He was scheduled to appear in court Monday, Feb. 11, police said.