Crime

72-year-old struck and killed trying to walk across Ashlan Avenue

Suspect in fatal hit-and-run taken in for questioning

Fresno police officers interview a driver suspected of being involved in a fatal hit-and-run Thursday morning, Feb. 1 on Ashlan Avenue just west of Cedar Avenue before taking him in for questioning.
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Fresno police officers interview a driver suspected of being involved in a fatal hit-and-run Thursday morning, Feb. 1 on Ashlan Avenue just west of Cedar Avenue before taking him in for questioning.

Fresno police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run early Thursday on Ashlan Avenue near Cedar Avenue, where a 72-year-old man was struck and killed. A 37-year-old Fresno man identified as Randy Ouch is in custody on felony hit-and-run charges in the incident.

The collision took place about 6:30 a.m. The victim, who was identified later Thursday by the Fresno Coroner’s Office as Antonio Ybarra of Fresno, was crossing Ashlan outside of the crosswalk from north to south, and may have been returning from buying his morning coffee at a nearby mini-mart when he was struck. A spilled cup of coffee and the victim’s shoes remained at the crash scene.

Lt. Mark Hudson said Ouch struck the victim while eastbound in the right lane on Ashlan. Ouch made a U-turn and returned about 20 minutes later in another vehicle. He was questioned and remained at the scene for about an hour before he was taken into custody by detectives.

Fatal crashes involving pedestrians and bicyclists continue as a major problem for police in the city. In 2017, there were 25 such collisions. Police have staged multiple operations by traffic officers in recent weeks in a bid to lower the fatalities and injuries.

At the collision scene, Sgt. Andy Mercado noted that the incidents were a discussion topic at a police briefing just minutes before the latest fatality.

Eastbound Ashlan was closed from Ninth Street to Cedar Avenue for the investigation.

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