A 24-year-old woman from Firebaugh was in custody Monday after she allegedly ran over and killed a Merced woman following a fight Sunday evening, according to Merced Police.
Ashley Sanders is believed to have been driving a red 2013 Dodge Avenger when she ran down a 20-year-old woman near 19th and I streets in Merced, a statement from the Merced Police Department said.
Police said the victim was found lying in the street. She was taken to a hospital in Modesto, where she died of her injuries, authorities said.
The Merced County Coroner’s Office identified her as Tiarra Gallashaw of Merced.
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Sanders showed up near Gallashaw’s home on Sunday and the two women were involved in a physical fight, police Capt. Matt Williams said.
After suffering injuries from the fight, Sanders returned to her car and began to drive, striking multiple vehicles before hitting Gallashaw, police said.
Witnesses told officers that Sanders initially fled the scene, the statement said. Officers were able to take Sanders into custody without incident.
There was major damage to Sanders’ vehicle.
The scene was described by officers as “very chaotic” with a large group of people gathered in the street.
According to Sanders’ mother, Stephanie Franco, her daughter and a group of young women, including Gallashaw, have had disputes for years that often were physical.
“I guess she was at her breaking point,” Franco told the Merced Sun-Star by phone on Monday. “I'm so sorry. It shouldn't have went down like this. This is just a tragedy on both sides. It’s sad. Women need to stick together and not have so much hate for each other.”
“My heart goes out to the girl and her family,” she added.
Sanders was booked into Merced County Jail on suspicion of homicide. She remained in jail Monday with bond set at $1 million, booking records show.
Sanders was booked into jail last month on suspicion of prostitution and posted bond before being released, according to booking records.
Monica Velez: 209-385-2486