Ronald Aviles
Ronald Aviles
A mistrial was declared Friday for a taxi driver charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 23-year-old pedestrian in Newport Beach early on New Year’s Day of last year.

Jurors deliberated for about five hours before telling a judge they were deadlocked on the hit-and-run with death charge filed against Ronald Aviles, 57, of San Clemente, according to Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell.

Four jurors voted for guilt, seven for acquittal and one was undecided, Cornwell said.

A pretrial hearing was set for April 11, when a judge will hear a motion from the defendant’s attorney to have the case dismissed.

Aviles was southbound on East Coast Highway about 3 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2015, when his van struck 23-year-old Travis Marton, who was crossing the highway westbound at Newport Coast Drive, according to Cornwell.

Aviles was accused of continuing to drive and failing to help the pedestrian, who was pronounced dead at the scene. He was arrested by Laguna Beach police in his taxi about five miles from the collision.

The issue at trial was whether Aviles was aware he struck the victim, Cornwell said.

— City News Service

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