Crime

Suspect arrested in Madera hit-and-run case that critically injured 15-year-old girl

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Witnessing a crime and reporting it can be just as frightening as being the victim of a crime. Here’s what you should do if you witness illegal activity.

A man has been arrested in connection with a Madera hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 15-year-old girl.

Paul Cano, 27, was arrested Friday on suspicion of felony hit-and-run for allegedly striking Jenny Aguilar, 15, as she crossed a Madera street on June 14.

Aguilar was previously listed in critical condition at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno but improved over the weekend and is conscious and able to speak, Madera Police Sgt. Mark Trukki said Monday.

Aguilar was struck by a black Hyundai as she crossed Olive Avenue north from Monterey Street in Madera.

“The driver of the vehicle fled the scene,” police said, “failing to stop and render aid to Jenny or notify police of the accident.”

On Thursday, police received an anonymous tip that they believed the hit-and-run suspect was Cano, owner of VFF, Valley Family Fitness, an in-home fitness company. Police arrested Cano around noon the following day at his place of employment, in the 3000 block of N. Blackstone Ave. in Fresno.

Police said they also found his 2016 Hyundai Elantra at the business, which had damage to its left front headlight and was missing its driver-side mirror.

damaged car collage.jpg
This 2016 Hyundai Elantra was believed to have been damaged by driver Paul Cano during a hit-and-run crash that critically injured 15-year-old Jenny Aguilar as she crossed a Madera, California street on June 14, 2019. MADERA POLICE DEPARTMENT Special to the Bee

Trukki said Cano “took responsibility” and said he thought he had struck a pole that night.

Cano allegedly hit Aguilar after leaving a training session that night, and was not believed to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, Trukki said.

Cano is out of jail on bail.

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Carmen George is a features and news reporter for The Fresno Bee. Her stories have been recognized with Best of the West, George F. Gruner, and McClatchy President’s awards, and nine first or second place awards from the California News Publishers Association. She has a passion for sharing people’s stories to highlight issues and promote greater understanding.
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