Man arrested, charged in deadly hit and run

Man arrested, charged in deadly hit and run

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by TONY BURBECK / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @TonyWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on November 22, 2013 at 6:39 AM

Updated Friday, Nov 22 at 7:06 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A driver who police say hit and killed a woman and then took off without stopping to help has now been arrested and charged.

Roger Villanueva turned himself in to police Friday morning.  He is in jail under a $25,000 bond and charged with felony hit and run causing serious injury or death.

Police say Villanueva hit and killed 54-year-old Lola Jean Williams around 6:20 Thursday night as she crossed Eastway Drive near Eastway Crossing Drive.

Police aren't saying exactly where Williams was, but there are several orange spray paint marks yards away from a crosswalk, and close to a common path people like Brian and wife Jerry Rakes take across the road to get to a bus stop.

"My conscience would bother me. I would have to stop instantaneously," Brian Rakes said.

Villanueva's family says he knew he hit something, but it was dark outside and he didn't know what it was.  He drove a large GMC truck that he used to do landscaping.  It was only after getting home and looking at the damage to his truck that realized it could have been a person.

Relatives say Villanueva stayed up all night talking, praying and worrying, then turned himself into police.

Neighbors say Villanueva's moment of conscience should have come earlier.

"He should have definitely stopped because it was a life taken. That poor woman is gone. If he would have stopped, she could have been helped sooner, maybe she could have lived," Jerry Rakes said.

Doctors pronounced Williams dead less than an hour after she was hit.

If you think a deadly hit and run would stop people from walking across the road, you're wrong, because the Rakes say the accident will only deter them at most for a couple of days.

"It's easier to get the bus and get to the other side, more convenient," Brian Rakes said.

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