Hit and Run Suspect Arrested

August 19, 2000

Saturday, August 19, 2000

"Hit and Run Suspect Arrested"

Van Nuys: On Friday, August 18, 2000 at approximately 9:24 a.m., a dark green Saturn or Honda (possibly a 1998 model) was traveling eastbound on Van Nuys Boulevard approaching Kewen Avenue. The victim a pedestrian (described at this time as an elderly female Hispanic) was crossing Van Nuys Boulevard, northbound on Kewen Avenue. The vehicle struck the pedestrian, failing to stop and render aide. LAFD rescue ambulance responded and transported the victim to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Witnesses at the scene stated that the vehicles front windshield was "smashed." The driver of the H&R vehicle was described as a female Hispanic, long brown hair, 20-25 years old. The vehicle fled the location last seen southbound Cayuga Ave from Pierce Street.

Updated Information

The victim has been identified as Marina Diaz, 65 years of age.

The vehicle was recovered thanks to a tip form a citizen who, after seeing the coverage on television, reported the location where the vehicle had been abandoned.

On August 19, 2000, the diver of the Hit-and-Run vehicle turned herself into police custody at Van Nuys Police Station. She has been identified as Michelle Salazar, 19 years of age, a resident of Sylmar. Ms. Salazar was booked for 2001 VC, Felony Hit and Run and is being held on $35,000.00 bail.

Valley Traffic Division is continuing with the investigation.

This updated press release was prepared by Officer Eduardo Funes, Media Relations Section.

For Release 5:00 pm PDT
August 19, 2000