A 51-year-old man who police believe is the driver of the van that struck and killed an 80-year-old woman Thursday afternoon in downtown Fresno was arrested Friday morning at Manchester Center, where he apparently had gone to deliver produce for the farmers market.
Luis Garcia was booked into Fresno County Jail on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing death. He also was charged for an outstanding warrant for theft. Garcia is not eligible for bail on the hit-and-run charge. The van was seized as evidence.
The county coroner identified the victim as Amelia Whisnand.
The collision occurred about 3:30 p.m. Thursday as a white van was westbound on Stanislaus Street approaching Fulton Street. The woman was in a motorized chair and crossing Stanislaus when she was struck by the van.
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The driver stepped out of the vehicle, looked at the victim and then fled, according to police. A downtown surveillance camera recorded the scene as it unfolded.
Friday morning, a Fresno police employee who is not an officer spotted the van downtown and called police, according to Lt. Joe Gomez.
The employee, who works in the police Real-Time Crime Center downtown where surveillance cameras are monitored, immediately recognized the van, Gomez said, and followed it to Manchester Center.
Officers arrived and collision reconstruction investigators determined that the van was the vehicle involved in the collision, Gomez said, and Garcia was arrested.
Garcia had been drinking alcohol Friday morning, Gomez said, but a field test revealed he did not exceed limits for driving legally.