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11-16-06, 08:45 PM #1
Victim Dies After Suspect Arrested in Hit/Run
This story had captured the attention of the city, especially since it was reported the driver sped up before hitting the victim. Kudos to the Motor unit who decided to cruise the area, and spotted the vehicle!
By Debbi Farr Baker
UNION-TRIBUNE BREAKING NEWS TEAM
2:51 p.m. November 16, 2006
SAN DIEGO – A San Diego State University student was arrested Thursday in the hit-and-run incident that fatally injured a 19-year-old Mesa College student.
Police said Eric Joseph Leeman, 20, was taken into custody about 8:30 a.m. at his College Area home, some four blocks from the crash scene on Montezuma Road near Ewing Street.
The victim, Whitney Young, died at a hospital about five hours after Leeman's arrest, authorities said.
Traffic Sgt. Jeff Fellows said an officer noticed a 1997 BMW 528i in a driveway that matched the description of the car involved in the accident early Sunday morning.
Detectives determined that pieces of the vehicle recovered after the accident matched the BMW.
“The man admitted he had been in a collision but said he believed that he had hit an animal, possibly a raccoon,” Fellows said.
Leeman faces a charge of felony vehicular manslaughter, Fellows said.
Young was hit about 3:15 a.m. Sunday as she was crossing Montezuma Road at Rockford Drive while walking home with four other people.
Witnesses told police they heard a loud acceleration from a car heading east on Montezuma before Young was hit. Her friends were able to get out of the way and were not injured.
Young, who was from Rancho Palos Verdes, was studying to be a teacher and was planning to transfer to SDSU, her family said earlier this week.
Officers originally believed the car to be a burgundy Mitsubishi Eclipse but later determined it was a BMW from the damaged parts.
Witnesses also told police they saw two young women in the car, however, Fellows said that Leeman claimed he was alone at the time.
Leeman lives with four other roommates who were also questioned by police. They told detectives that Leeman had been at a party on Saturday night and was known to be a regular drinker.
“We suspect that alcohol was involved but have no way to prove that,” Fellows said.Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.
Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
or otherwise distort statements of fact.FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley
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