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Alleged hit-and-run driver turns herself in after man killed

Posted at 10:31 AM, Aug 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-14 13:31:24-04

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. (AP) — An 18-year-old suspected hit-and-run driver surrendered to police a day after a couple celebrating their wedding anniversary was struck by a car in a Southern California crosswalk, authorities said.

The 60-year-old man died and his 60-year-old wife was hospitalized following the crash Thursday evening in Laguna Beach, police said.

Laguna Beach investigators announced they were looking for the driver of a Volkswagen sedan with a model year between 2005 and 2010 that likely has front-end damage.

The driver turned herself in on Friday. Sysillia Morrison Montes De Oca of Costa Mesa faces charges including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and felony hit and run, police Lt. Cornelius Ashton said. She was released on $100,000 bail.

It wasn't known Sunday if she has an attorney.

Police found a silver 2009 Volkswagen Jetta in a garage in Aliso Viejo and impounded the sedan for evidence, the Orange County Register reported Saturday.

Ashton said detectives believe speed was a contributing factor. The speed limit along that stretch of highway through Laguna Beach's midtown is 35 mph (56 kph). Police have not said how fast they believe the suspect was driving.

The couple, also from Costa Mesa, was in the lighted crosswalk around 9:30 p.m. after celebrating their wedding anniversary at a nearby restaurant, the Register reported. They were struck by the car traveling south.

The man died at a hospital and his wife was released Thursday night after being treated for moderate injuries.