‘A bittersweet day’: Family of Reedley mother killed in hit-and-run crash reacts to arrest of California doctor

KSEE24 News

FRESNO COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) – A California doctor is facing serious charges for a hit-and-run crash back in February that ended in the death of a 26-year-old nursing student from Reedley.

The California Highway Patrol says an anonymous tip led to the arrest of 68-year-old James Comazzi of Sonora for the hit-and-run death of Juliana Ramos. He was taken into custody Monday evening.

“It’s a bittersweet day,” said Cinthya Ramos, Juliana’s sister-in-law.

The announcement of an arrest in the case was a day Ramos’ family had waited nearly 8 months for.

“We are here today to announce the arrest of Mr. James Camozzi, 68 years old from Sonora, California,” said California Highway Patrol Lt. Austin Matulonis during a press conference.

Authorities say Camozzi was behind the wheel of an SUV that hit and killed Ramos on Highway 99 near Manning Avenue.

She had pulled over to help another driver who had just been in a crash when she was hit.

“She worked in a nursing home. She was going to nursing school. Her life was taken rendering aid to a person who needed medical help. What an extraordinary woman,” explained Lt. Matulonis.

Adventist Health confirmed James Camozzi is a doctor at its hospital in Sonora, adding “prayers are with the victim’s family.”

“That’s pretty sad that someone you would think saves lives wouldn’t have pulled over and helped out,” said Cinthya Ramos, Juliana’s sister-in-law.

Juliana’s family visited her gravesite in Reedley, grateful for the arrest, but still without their loved one.

“It just sucks he is caught but nothing is going to bring her back,” said Claudia Sanchez, Juliana’s sister.

Her sisters remember her as a hero, who died doing what she loved – helping others.

“She was working, going to school, you know she wanted to make something of herself, she wanted to make a difference,” said Cinthya.

The family of Juliana Ramos visited her grave on Tuesday evening following the announcement of James Camozzi’s arrest

And they believe she did. The driver she was helping that morning, survived.

Cinthya says her sister-in-law’s courageous spirit will live on through the three children she leaves behind.

“She didn’t stay in that car, she went out and risked her life,” Cinthya said.

Camozzi was booked into the Fresno County Jail on Tuesday night but has since been released on bail.  

He now faces felony hit and run and vehicular manslaughter charges.

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