Woman gets prison for hit and run

LOS ANGELES - A Huntington Park woman, who fatally struck a teenage girl at a marked crosswalk and then fled the scene, was sentenced to state prison Tuesday.Deputy District Attorney James Toro said Carol Eleana Vega, 29, was sentenced to a three-year prison term. Vega pleaded no contest on Sept. 29 to one count each of leaving the scene of an accident, a felony, and vehicular manslaughter, a misdemeanor. The defendant pleaded open to the court, meaning the plea was not part of a negotiated settlement with the district attorney's office. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Drew Edwards ordered the defendant to surrender to Sheriff's Department authorities on Nov. 17, at which time she will begin serving her prison term. On Sept. 25, 2009, Guadalupe Colmenares, 19, and two others were crossing the street at a crosswalk on Sixth and Lorena streets in Los Angeles when Vega struck them with her vehicle and sped away. Colmenares was declared dead at a hospital. A second victim, a 37-year-old woman, sustained skull, facial and pelvic fractures, in addition to internal hemorrhaging. A 14-year-old girl was not seriously injured. "It is clear that but for the actions of a Good Samaritan who saw the accident, gave chase and provided law enforcement with the vehicle's license plate number, this defendant would not be standing here today," wrote the prosecutor in a sentencing memo. Vega surrendered to authorities one day after the collision. Her surrender followed a news conference by LAPD officials where they released her name and photograph. Vega told police that she and her boyfriend had been attacked by gang members near the scene of the accident and were fleeing the area for safety when she hit "something," according to the sentencing memo.

********** Published: November 11, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 30