Arrest of Alleged Hit-and-Run Suspect made in Mexico

CNS News
August 25, 2019 - 11:00 am

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NORTH HILLS (CNS) - Police are expected on Tuesday to announce that they have made an arrest in a June 16 hit-and-run crash in North Hills that left a driver dead and critically injured four other passengers, officials said today.

Police said the suspect, 27-year-old Maritza Joana Lara of Van Nuys, was speeding in a white 2016 Lexus IS200 at the time of the crash when she ran a red light at Haskell Avenue and Parthenia Street at about 5:35 a.m. and struck the driver side of a blue 2005 Nissan Murano.

The driver of the Nissan, Francisco Hernandez Rivas, 48, was killed in the crash and Lara's four passengers were critically injured.

Police said Lara exited the Lexus, fled the scene on foot and failed to render aid to any injured parties. Rivas, the father of two teens, was pronounced dead at the scene. Police released surveillance footage that showed the accident and what appeared to be the driver of the Lexus walking away from the scene.

Lara fled the country and was subsequently located and taken into custody in Mexico, with the assistance of the Los Angeles Police Department, U.S. Marshals Task Force and immigration authorities in Mexico, authorities said. She was turned over by the U.S. Marshals task force upon her arrival at LAX and arrested on her outstanding warrants related to the fatal crash.

Police said Lara has a prior DUI conviction.