Doctor arrested in hit-and-run death of nurse helping crash victim near Fresno

Juliana Ramos, left, and James Comazzi are seen in photos provided by family and authorities to KGPE/KSEE.

Juliana Ramos, left, and James Comazzi are seen in photos provided by family and authorities to KGPE/KSEE.

A cardiologist suspected in a hit-and-run that killed a nurse who had stopped to help a crash victim on a highway was arrested after a months-long investigation aided by an anonymous tip, authorities said.

James Leonard Comazzi, 68, was arrested Monday at his Sonora home and booked into Fresno County jail. He posted bond Tuesday.

California Highway Patrol Lt. Austin Matulonis made the arrest announcement in front of the family of Juliana Ramos, a 27-year-old nurse and mother of three.

“It’s a bittersweet day,” the victim’s sister-in-law, Cinthya Ramos, told KTLA sister station KSEE/KGPE in Fresno.

The announcement of an arrest in the case was a day Ramos’ family had waited nearly 8 months for.

Ramos was killed Feb. 10 while trying to help the driver of a car who had major injuries after a collision with a big rig on Highway 99 near Fresno. Her 4-month-old baby was still in the car when she was hit by a red SUV, authorities said.

“She worked in a nursing home. She was going to nursing school. Her life was taken rendering aid to a person who needed medical help,” Matulonis said. “What an extraordinary woman.”

For months, investigators searched for the driver of the SUV who they said stopped, got out of the vehicle for a moment, then got back in and sped away.

Eight months later, there was a break in the case when an anonymous tip came in through Crimestoppers identifying Comazzi as the driver and giving the vehicle’s possible location.

Comazzi is charged with felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter. It was not immediately known if he has retained an attorney who can speak on his behalf. A phone message left Wednesday by The Associated Press on a number listed for Comazzi was not immediately returned.

Officers were able to cross-reference the tipster’s information with surveillance video from the crash area.

Adventist Health confirmed to KSEE/KGPE that James Camozzi is a doctor at its hospital in Sonora, adding “prayers are with the victim’s family.”

Ramos’ loved ones urged people to submit any information they may have about any crime anonymously through Crimestoppers and said they are heartbroken the other driver didn’t express the same compassion she did that night.

“It should be in human nature to stop and help someone, just like it was in her nature,” said Cynthia Ramos. “She could have easily stayed in her car. She went ahead and did what she loved to do, which was serve and help as a nurse.”

Family visited the victim’s gravesite in Reedley, grateful for the arrest, but still without their loved one.

“It just sucks he is caught but nothing is going to bring her back,” said Claudia Sanchez, the victim’s sister.

The family of Juliana Ramos visited her grave on Tuesday evening following the announcement of James Camozzi’s arrest

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