CHP Targets Hit-And-Run For Cause Of Teenager’s Death On HWY 49
Sonora, CA – New details are emerging as the investigation now points to hit-and-run as the cause of the teenager’s death after she was struck on Highway 49 on Sunday in Sonora.
The incident was first reported by Clarke Broadcasting Tuesday with the CHP being tight-lipped about the circumstances of the 17-year-old female’s death, as reported here. At the time, it was reported that the girl’s body was found along the highway and CHP spokesperson Steve Machado stated that it was “not suspicious, but undetermined as to what led up to that event.”
Today, Machado shed more light on exactly what happened, adding, “We do believe that the suspicious part is why the person fled the scene, but we don’t think it is foul play as far as anything more than just somebody being struck by a vehicle that unfortunately succumbed to those injuries as a result and the responsible party fled the scene.”
A call came into dispatch around 5:32 p.m. reporting that a 17-year-old female from Sonora was found lying in a ditch on Highway 49 near O’Hara Drive with what appeared to be major injuries, according to Machado. He updated, “Upon the officer’s arrival at the scene, they located the injured female and suspected she was struck by a vehicle that fled the scene. Unfortunately, as the female was being treated by medical personnel, she succumbed to her injuries.”
With no witnesses at the scene, the CHP is asking for the public’s help to find the vehicle and driver. Machado details “There potentially could be damage to the vehicle.” Anyone that witnessed or has any information regarding this crash can remain anonymous and is asked to contact the Jamestown CHP office at (209) 984-3944.
When asked the potential charges the driver could face, Machado replied, “If get an arrest, it will depend on the D.A. whether it will be vehicular manslaughter.”
The victim was walking on the west side of the highway at the time she was struck, Machado cautions that pedestrians should avoid walking on that side since there is not a lot of room between the embankment and the roadway to walk. He recommends walking on the opposing side where there is a bigger shoulder.
The name of the victim is still not being released.