Officials made an arrest Monday morning in connection with a crash that left a teenage girl dead in September.
California Highway Patrol said Charlean Larue Welch, a 55-year-old San Bernardino woman, was driving a tan, 2000 Chevrolet Suburban when she struck 14-year-old Jade Maldonado on Sept. 28 at around 7 a.m.
Welch allegedly failed to yield to Jade, who was walking on a marked crosswalk on Pacific Street near Glasgow Avenue. The driver was traveling eastbound on Pacific Street at an estimated speed of 40 to 50 mph, according to authorities.
The girl was taken to a hospital, where she died that afternoon.
Julio Alvarez previously told KTLA that he was taking his daughter to school when he saw the incident. He said he ran to help the victim, who said she couldn’t breathe.
“We just tried to keep her comfortable,” Alvarez said. “We were telling her that she was going to be OK, her medics were on the way. I think she blacked out, and then she stopped talking to us.”
Family and friends mourned her at a vigil the day after the crash.
“She had so many aspirations that she wanted to go to, but it all got taken away,” said Jade’s father, Emmett Maldonado.
Family members described the teenager, a freshman at Pacific High School, as a caring sister who took care of her two brothers, one of whom had autism and the other a cancer survivor.
According to Jade’s aunt, the girl donated bone marrow to her brother when he was an infant.
“So she saved a life, and somebody took her life, which is heartbreaking for us,” Vibi Salcedo said.
Soon after the crash, CHP released surveillance footage and photos of the wanted vehicle. The agency said officers arrested Welch on Monday at around 10:30 a.m.
Although authorities did not offer further details about what led to the suspect’s arrest, they expressed gratitude to the people who provided them information.
A GoFundMe page set up to help Jade’s family with funeral costs had raised more than $10,000 as of Monday afternoon.