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Driver Arrested in Fatal Christmas Hit-and-Run Crash

HANFORD, Calif. - A break in the tragic Christmas hit-and-run in Hanford. Police have arrested the driver, 19-year old Angel Castillo. They're still on the hunt for the passenger in Castillo's car, who police say is 21-year-old Abraham Chavez. He's wanted for questioning.

Police said Castillo hit and killed 32-year old father Raymond Romero, and then fled the scene. Three children and Romero's pregnant girlfriend were also in the car. She was forced into an emergency C-section, and had a baby girl that same night. The three children remain in critical condition.

Detective Jason Gustin said they arrested Castillo at his mother's home in Hanford, nearly 24 hours after the crash.

"He basically came out voluntarily with no fight whatsoever," stated Gustin.

Gustin said Castillo has a criminal past, but when he was arrested Tuesday night, he seemed remorseful for allegedly taking the life of a 32-year old father.

"I believe that he was. Like I said, this was a very, very traumatic incident that happened, and I think even the most hardened of people, once they realize what the aftermath of their actions are, are gonna be affected in some way," said Gustin.

Police said it's nearly impossible for them to know if Castillo was under the influence of any drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash, since too much time has passed between the collision and his arrest.

Romero's cousin Angelica Valenzuela cried, "They killed a great man, they really did."

She said the family is grateful Castillo is behind bars. But the arrest doesn't bring their loved one back.

"He was the one that protected all of us, and now, he's not here to protect us," ended Valenzuela.

Family and friends are planning a hot dog lunch fundraiser Friday and Saturday beginning at 9am at the crash scene near Hume and 11th Avenues. Proceeds will help the victim's family with burial expenses.


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