A 38-year-old Los Angeles woman was arrested early Thursday morning on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter for allegedly checking messages on her cellphone when she struck and killed a 65-year-old man in the Westlake district.
The victim, also a resident of Los Angeles, was struck about 8 p.m. Wednesday near the area of Sixth and Grand View streets, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The victim, identified in an ABC7 report as Yong Do Kim, was running across Sixth Street in a marked crosswalk when he was hit by Rosario Valdezinda’s eastbound vehicle, police said.
“It was determined that Valdezinda was looking at her messages on her cellphone when the collision occurred,” according to a police statement. “She remained at the scene and attempted to render aid as required by law.”
Police initially arrested Valdezinda for driving without a valid license, a misdemeanor, but after further investigation she was booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter, according to the LAPD.
“The driver actually was on her cellphone looking at her WhatsApp application viewing her messages,” Detective Moses Castillo of the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division told ABC7, which aired surveillance video of the moments leading up to the collision.
Valdezinda was released from custody after posting $50,000 bail, according to sheriff’s inmate records.
The case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.
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