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Truck driver sentenced to nearly a year in hit-and-run collision

Posted: March 5, 2014 7:17 p.m.
Updated: March 5, 2014 7:17 p.m.

A 66-year-old truck driver arrested last summer for leaving the scene of a crash where a woman was struck and killed is now serving close to a year in jail, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Wednesday.

Nicolas M. Hernandez of Porterville pleaded no contest to leaving the scene of an accident in San Fernando Superior Court, said D.A. spokesman Ricardo Santiago.

“He was sentenced to 348 days in jail and 36 months formal probation,” Santiago said.

On June 29, 2013, Hernandez was driving a 2012 Freightliner truck northbound on Highway 14 north of Agua Dulce Canyon Road when his truck struck 44-year-old Reyna Palacios of Pomona.

Palacios was standing outside her vehicle, a 1999 Honda, disabled on the side of the road. After she was hit by Hernandez’s truck, she was airlifted from the scene to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital, where she later died as a result of her injuries.

Hernandez left the scene of the crash and was later stopped by a CHP officer traveling southbound on Highway 14 near Agua Dulce Canyon Road. He was arrested for felony hit and run.

The crash closed down Highway 14 in the area for several hours, leaving motorists stalled in temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.

It was the second fatal collision to happen on Highway 14 within a month last summer, and the third collision for which a driver was arrested.

Burbank resident Bradford Pate, 38, was charged with two counts of murder for allegedly causing a traffic collision on June 22, 2013, while traveling the wrong way on northbound Highway 14 near Escondido Canyon Road. Two people died in that crash.

On Tuesday, Pate was formally arraigned on murder charges.

Rick Allen Walker, 54, of Canyon Country was also arrested for driving under the influence in connection with a wrong-way crash in June 2013. That crash injured 13 people on Highway 14 near Escondido Canyon Road.

In October, he was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading no contest to four counts of DUI causing injury.
On Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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