Woman Checking on Dogs on 91 Freeway in Corona Is Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver

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A suspected hit-and-run driver is in custody Monday after a 33-year-old woman was struck and killed while outside her car on the 91 Freeway in Corona.

A call came in at 2 a.m. about a crash involving a pedestrian and a vehicle on the eastbound side of the freeway just east of Green River Road, California Highway Patrol Sgt. Bryan Arendt said.

Officers arrived to learn that a victim had been struck and that the vehicle involved in the collision was gone from the scene.

A dog is seen after a deadly crash on the 91 Freeway in Corona on May 13, 2019. (Credit. OC Hawk)

A dog is seen after a deadly crash on the 91 Freeway in Corona on May 13, 2019. (Credit. OC Hawk)

The vehicle was located about 500 feet away but was abandoned, Arendt said.

Investigators believe the victim and a friend in another vehicle both pulled over because the friend's dogs were acting up.

The victim got out of her vehicle to help, Sgt. Steven Rusk said.

“While she was tending to her friend on the right shoulder she was struck by a vehicle,” Rusk said.

The woman died from her injuries, Rusk confirmed.

She was identified by the coroner's office as Desiree Taitano of Riverside.

The suspected hit-and-run driver was located a few hours later at his home and arrested.

Two dogs are seen at the scene of a deadly crash on the 91 Freeway in Corona on May 13, 2019. (Credit. OC Hawk)

Two dogs are seen at the scene of a deadly crash on the 91 Freeway in Corona on May 13, 2019. (Credit. OC Hawk)

“We believe he got a ride … He did call into CHP to report a collision at a later time," Rusk said.

The sergeant said the driver, later identified by CHP as Jose Antonio Hildalgo of Corona, will likely face at least a felony hit-and-run charge.

Hildalgo said a random stranger picked him up after the incident and drove him 15 miles to his home, according to CHP. Investigators are seeking to speak to that person.

Anyone with information was asked to call the CHP at 951-637-8000.

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