On Monday, September 14, a woman was struck by an automobile and killed while walking across Orchard Village Road in Santa Clarita. Deputies had received reports earlier about a woman walking down the median of the road, but were unable to locate her. According to law enforcement, they received a call about “debris” in the roadway at around 11:30 Monday night, and when deputies showed up to investigate, they discovered that the debris was in fact a white woman in her 60’s laying in the road. Authorities believe she was the victim of a hit-and-run, though they have not located any witnesses yet or identified any suspects.

Hit-and-run involving a death or injury is a felony in the State of California and is covered under California Vehicle Code VC 20001. Anyone who is involved in a traffic collision, either with another car or with a person (no matter how minor), is obligated to stop and provide identifying information to the other person, or to call the police. Those who fail to stop, or stop and do not identify themselves before leaving, may be guilty of a hit-and-run.

The penalties for felony hit-and-runs will depend greatly upon whether the victim received minor injuries, if the injuries are permanent or if a death was involved. In cases involving minor injuries, the penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, up to 1-year in county jail, up to 3-years in California state prison, two points on the defendant’s driving record and possible restitution.

In cases involving permanent injury or death, the penalties for VC 20001 include: a fine of up to $10,000, 90-days to 1-year in jail, 2 to 4-years in California state prison, restitution and 2 points on the defendant’s driving record.