The girlfriend of the driver in the hit-and-run death of Clovis Unified vice principal Gavin Gladding was arrested by the California Highway Patrol on Wednesday. Officers also arrested a friend of the driver who allegedly helped repair the vehicle to keep it hidden from authorities.
Arrested were Fernanda Jakelin Lopez, 18, and Moises Antonio Valdez Guerrero, 23, both of Fresno.
They were arrested at different locations after an investigation involving at least 20 search warrants and recovery of data from a computer chip on the pickup truck that hit Gladding.
Lopez and Guerrero are being charged on suspicion of accessory to felony hit and run and misdemeanor destruction of evidence, Sgt. David Salcido said. Each posted bail Wednesday, according to Fresno County Jail records.
Lopez was the passenger in a Chevrolet Silverado driven by Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla, 18, on Sept. 16 when Gladding was struck about 6 a.m. on Friant Road. Gladding, 43, was out running and training for a marathon. The young couple had been up on Sky Harbor Road near Millerton Lake and were returning to Fresno, the CHP said.
Alvarez Maravilla was arrested five days later when he turned himself in after talking to his lawyer. He is free on $6,100 bail and has pleaded not guilty to one felony charge of fleeing an accident as well as three misdemeanors: vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license and destroying evidence.
He has admitted to being the driver, according to court records.
Salcido said the windshield of the truck had been replaced and work had been done. The original windshield was shattered when the pickup hit the victim, said Salcido, who is the investigation supervisor for the CHP Fresno area.
Lopez was aware the truck had hit someone but did not report it, Salcido said.
Lopez, a student at Fresno State, and Guerrero were “stunned” at being taken into custody, Salcido said. Neither has been cooperative with the investigation, he added.
“The level of cooperation that we’ve received in this investigation has dwindled to almost none from any of the parties involved,” Salcido said.
A search warrant returned to the courthouse said Lopez gave investigators a few details but declined to say more without a lawyer present.
It is possible there will be additional arrests, and additional charges could be filed, Salcido said.
It’s illegal to leave the scene of a traffic collision, and everyone had plenty of time to come forward and share what they knew, he said.
“We would hope that a reasonable and prudent person who has just run over an individual on the roadway and killed that individual would step up and do the right thing,” Salcido said.
The Gladding family has been updated on the arrests, he said.
“The Gladding family has shown the utmost of cooperation, the utmost of compassion for the family of the individuals involved — and they display that each and every time that we’ve seen them,” he said.