A man who allegedly fled from the scene of a crash in Long Beach that fatally injured a man in a wheelchair and then returned to the scene and admitted being involved in the collision pleaded not guilty Thursday to five felony counts, including DUI and hit-and-run driving.
Jesus Jorge Arias, 37, of Lakewood, is charged with one felony count each of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury, driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury, hit-and-run driving resulting in death and two felony counts of child abuse under circumstances likely to produce great bodily injury or death, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Arias allegedly ran over Kyle Dean McNeley, 29, of Lakewood, near the corner of Bellflower Boulevard and Harvey Way on March 28, according to prosecutors.
Arias’ 9-year-old son and 7-year-old daughter were allegedly in the vehicle at the time of the crash, according to prosecutors.
McNeley was found lying in the roadway, and was pronounced dead at a hospital.
“The wheelchair-bound pedestrian was attempting to cross Bellflower Boulevard eastbound in the crosswalk on the north side of the intersection when he was struck by Arias,” who was allegedly behind the wheel of a 2012 Jeep Grand Cherokee traveling northbound, according to a Long Beach Police Department statement.
Arias allegedly fled, but subsequently returned to the scene and admitted being involved in the collision, police said.
Aruas was stopped by good Samaritans shortly after the deadly crash, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
He was released April 3 on bond, jail records show.
If convicted as charged, Arias could face a potential maximum sentence of more than eight years in state prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
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