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Arrest after baby killed in hit-and-run

February 2, 2009 4:35:52 AM PST
Police have arrested a suspect after a deadly hit-and-run that killed an 11-month-old baby and seriously injured her 5-year-old sister in Los Angeles on Sunday.Police said the victims' mother was pushing her children in a stroller through a clearly marked crosswalk when they were struck by a black Honda at Bonnie Brae Street and Olympic Boulevard at about 6:10 p.m.

Their clothes and belongings were strewn for two blocks, while the driver sped away. The mother suffered minor injuries, while her 11-month-old was killed and her 5-year-old child remains hospitalized in critical condition with a fractured shoulder and head injuries.

Police arrested 30-year-old South Gate resident Henry Yovanni Moreno and booked him for vehicular manslaughter at about 11:30 p.m.

The Honda was not stolen, but it was registered under a false identity.

Hit-and-run cases can be hard to solve, but in this case, police had the help of a Good Samaritan, J.R. Lizarraga, who witnessed the crash.

"Just heard an impact and I quickly glimpsed and saw clothes flying in the air. And, I heard a tire screech from the suspect's vehicle," said Lizarraga. "For me, the most terrible scene was seeing the baby in the corner without life."

Lizarraga followed the suspect for blocks, who was able to take down his license plate number.

"Unfortunately, I didn't have a pen. So, I had to send a text message to a buddy of mine to keep the license plate recorded on my phone," said Lizarraga.

Lizarraga called 911 and returned to the crime scene, where he found police.

With the help of several law enforcement agencies, LAPD was able to track the driver down, and a detective told Eyewitness News that the driver was under the influence.

Police said the driver should have known a pedestrian crossing was ahead.

"There are two warning signs prior to this crosswalk," said LAPD Sgt. Ronnie Crump. He said anyone driving 35 miles per hour under normal circumstances would have known that they had hit someone or something.

Pedestrians who regularly use the crosswalk said they want the city to install a light.


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