Coachella Driver Convicted for Felony Hit-and-Run

The Coachella man who struck a homeless woman with his truck and left her to die has been convicted for felony hit-and-run. Jose Fernando Reyes, 24, was driving on Avenue 48 east of Dillon Road around 12:30 a.m. on July 8th when he fatally struck 56-year-old Leletia Meyers. Reyes fled the scene, but authorities located and arrested him the next day.

In a plea agreement, Reyes pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run, and three misdemeanor charges were dropped. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

While the driver was caught in this hit-and-run case, this is not the norm when it comes to convictions for hit-and-runs. According to a study by the Safe Transportation Research & Education Center (SafeTREC) at the University of California, Berkeley, even though the number of pedestrian deaths in the U.S. decreased between 1998 and 2007, the proportion of fatal pedestrian hit-and-runs increased. And unfortunately, in approximately half of hit-and-run cases involving a pedestrian, the driver is never identified or apprehended.

This is a serious problem, as fleeing the scene of a pedestrian crash increases the risk for the victim, as they often receive delayed medical treatment and are left exposed to being hit again.

“Hit-and-run drivers are destructive to our society and need be stopped. If you witness a hit-and-run, please come forward with any information that might help police,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.


DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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