A phone tip this week led to the arrest of a 23-year-old woman charged in a hit-and-run collision with a bicycle that seriously injured prominent Fresno doctor William Dominic, police said Wednesday.
Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Brianna Nikole Sandoval, 23, was arrested Tuesday and confessed to detectives that she was driving the tan Toyota Camry that struck Dominic on Feb. 26. Dominic, an avid bicyclist, was riding home from Community Regional Medical Center about 1 a.m. when he was struck on North Fresno Street and East Holland Avenue.
Police said Sandoval reportedly told detectives she was driving home from the Fulton 55 nightclub after consuming two beers and a mixed drink. She said she initially thought she had struck an object such as a trash can, only to realize later she was involved in the collision with the doctor.
The collision was publicized widely in Fresno media and by police through the department’s Crime Stoppers program.
Dominic, director of the burn center at Community Regional Medical Center, sustained a broken pelvis and ribs, a spinal fracture and a crushed leg. He required extensive time in the hospital to recover.
His bicycle was dragged away by the Camry and has not been recovered.
Dyer said detectives spent many hours investigating the collision, including a false lead that led to another car with comparable collision damage. But it was a phone call to Sgt. Michael Landon Monday that finally cracked the case.
The tipster provided information that led to Sandoval, prompting detectives to scour social media and police records. They learned a traffic stop of Sandoval’s Camry on April 7 by a Fresno officer was recorded on a body camera. It showed the car had sustained roof damage that was partially repaired with body putty. The windshield also had been replaced.
Detectives confronted Sandoval at her workplace, where they say she admitted striking Dominic. Dyer said Sandoval told detectives she was driving to her apartment near North First Street and East Barstow Avenue when the collision occurred. Dyer said a warrant was served at the apartment and evidence indicates Sandoval “likely has a severe drinking problem.”
Detectives said Sandoval said that, though she initially did not know she was the one who struck Dominic, she eventually realized what had happened because of the extensive media coverage of the crash. She reportedly was relieved to finally be able to admit her culpability.