No jail time for drunk driver in fatal crash on Route 180

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — A drunk driver who struck and killed a pedestrian on the 180 freeway and then fled will no longer have to spend time in police custody for the crime.

The driver took some measures that convinced a judge to spare her.

Kenia Rodriguez knew she punched someone that night in June 2020.

California Highway Patrol officers say Heather Martinez, 42, parked her car along Highway 180 near Piedra Rd. and walked through traffic.

Rodriguez’s car hit her and killed her.

After the collision, Rodriguez did the right thing and stopped, at least at first.

She left soon after after leaving her personal information with witnesses.

“She gave her name and phone number,” prosecutor Cameron Simoes said. “However, according to the fourth element, it seems that she should give this to a police officer or the person struck or the occupants of the vehicle.”

Prosecutors say she didn’t do enough, possibly because she was drunk. His blood alcohol level was tested at 0.12%.

State law requires drivers involved in accidents to also leave a bit more information, including an address and vehicle registration number.

Her lawyer acknowledged that she should have left more information, but pointed out that the crash victim was already receiving help before Rodriguez left.

“When she left the scene other people had stopped, she had provided her information, 911 had been called, emergency assistance was being rendered to the deceased,” defense attorney David Jones said. .

Rodriguez admitted to a hit-and-run and DUI, but Judge Michael Idiart reduced the hit-and-run to a misdemeanor — partly because she didn’t just leave the scene and partly because he said the collision was not his fault.

“It’s pretty clear from the evidence I’ve heard that she was not responsible for the accident,” Judge Idiart said. “I don’t know if it was just a reckless individual crossing the freeway or someone wanting to be hit.”

Rodriguez said the crime and the court process had been very difficult and she was grateful it was over.

The victim’s family members did not attend the sentencing on Tuesday.

Rodriguez will now serve three years of probation and a 90-day prison sentence, although she can serve that sentence by doing community service.

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