A 23-year-old Santa Ana woman was arrested Thursday on charges of leaving the scene of a fatal collision and then falsely reporting her car was damaged by vandals.
Belen Sicairos could face up to eight years in prison if convicted of one felony count each of hit-and-run causing death and insurance fraud through a written claim and three counts of insurance fraud, along with a misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime.
Prosecutors allege Sicairos was driving her 2015 Honda Accord west on First Street in Santa Ana about 2 a.m. on Nov. 29, 2015, when she struck Jorge Luis Lopez-Lobato as he crossed the street.
Sicairos allegedly drove away, and the 35-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to prosecutors.
Later that day, the defendant filed a phony insurance claim for vandalism, prosecutors allege. She claimed she discovered damage to her car parked near 17th Street in Santa Ana about 2:30 a.m., prosecutors said.
The defendant also filled out a police report on Dec. 2, 2015, that claimed her parked car was vandalized, according to prosecutors.
As her insurance company investigated the claim, the defendant submitted a notarized affidavit that again reiterated the claim of vandalism, prosecutors allege.
A witness who saw news accounts of the hit-and-run told police a vehicle matching the description of the car seen in the collision was at an auto body shop in the San Bernardino County city of Bloomington, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
—City News Service
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: