Police arrest suspect connected to hit and run crash that killed man in wheelchair

Local News

FRESNO, California (KSEE) –

Police arrested the suspect connected to the hit-and-run crash that killed a man in a wheelchair in west Fresno on Friday.

The victim was identified as Ronnie Rodriguez, 53, of Fresno, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tony Botti said.

“I’ve just been blessed and I’m so happy that justice will come for my brother,” Carlos Rodriguez said Tuesday.

Carlos said his brother leaves behind six children and five grandchildren. He said the arrest came after Rodriguez’s own son spotted the suspect’s vehicle. Earlier in the day police had released surveillance photos of it.

Carlos said his nephew had a feeling the driver would be in the area the crash happened. The truck was found in a driveway about a half mile away on N Hanover Avenue.

Police are not yet identifying or releasing details about the suspect, but said it appears he may have tried to repair any damage to the vehicle.

“It looks like he may have replaced a headlight as well as the grill. However there is still some damage on the vehicle that would indicate he was involved in a collision,” Lt. Anthony Dewall of the Fresno Police Department said.

Carlos said the arrest is a major win for the family. He said they also plan on talking to city leaders to push for four feet of shoulder space in the area the crash happened.

Rodriguez lived near where he was struck. The area has no sidewalks, crosswalks or streetlights.

Officers said they received a 911 call at around 6:30 p.m near Brawley just North of McKinley Avenues.

The caller told officers a man was struck by a vehicle. When police and paramedics arrived they found him dead at the scene.

RELATED: Man in wheelchair killed in NW Fresno hit-and-run identified

“What we can determine at this point is it appears he was in the northbound lane somewhere probably pretty close to the edge when he was struck by this unknown vehicle,” Dooley said.

Police said a witness heard the accident and told them they later saw a white 4×4 pickup truck leaving the scene.

Authorities said they will have the area closed off for investigation.

“Officers and detectives will be going door-to-door seeing if anybody has video surveillance that may actually show the accident or any vehicles that are leaving the scene around that time to help us in the investigation,” Dooley said.

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