A hit-and-run suspect allegedly responsible for injuring two pedestrians — one fatally — in Huntington Beach was in custody Monday, and a second motorist accused of helping the suspect flee the scene was being sought, police said.
The crash, involving a Nissan Altima, occurred about 8 p.m. Sunday on northbound Pacific Coast Highway near Newland Avenue, said Jennifer Carey of the Huntington Beach Police Department.
Deanna Stuve, 48, of Hemet in Riverside County, died at the scene, and her husband, Frederick Stuve, 50, was hospitalized in critical condition, Carey said.
“Following the collision, the driver of the Altima … continued driving before stopping a short distance away,” Carey said. “She and her unidentified female passenger left the Altima abandoned along the roadway, got into a waiting white sedan, and fled the scene.”
Chillandra Bell, 26, of Victorville in San Bernardino County, was later booked on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, and hit-and-run resulting in death or injury, and she remained in custody Monday morning, Carey said.
“Thanks to the assistance of multiple witnesses and video surveillance, officers were able to identify the getaway vehicle and trace the registered owner’s whereabouts to a residence in Huntington Beach,” Carey said. “Officers conducted surveillance of the residence and arrested Bell as she was leaving the location.”
She said the “identity of the driver of the white getaway vehicle is still unknown and being investigated.”
Investigators were unsure if drugs or alcohol were factors in the crash, Carey said.
“Based on the preliminary investigation, the Altima was traveling northbound on Pacific Coast Highway when it ran a red light, striking the two pedestrians who were crossing Pacific Coast Highway at Newland Avenue in the crosswalk with the right of way,” Carey said.
Anyone with information on the case was urged to call police at 714-536-5670, or 714-536-5663.