Fatal Hit-and-Run Driver Behind Bars; Deceased Moreno Valley Woman Identified

RIVERSIDE – A 59-year-old Riverside man was arrested for a fatal hit-and-run collision that took the life of a 19-year-old Moreno Valley woman Friday morning.

Authorities said that the quick thinking and report coming from a witness, which included the vehicle description along with a license plate number helped lead them to the suspect. The woman, later identified as Linda Rodriguez was driving a late model Nissan Sentra at around 5:50 a.m.  She was driving westbound on Magnolia Avenue when she entered the Tyler Street intersection. As she entered she was broadsided by a light-gray full-size van who was heading south on Tyler Street. The force of the crash sent the Nissan into an electric pole in the center median. Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene.

A witness observed the collision and the van fleeing the scene and began following the suspect vehicle and was able to provide the license plate number to authorities before losing sight of the vehicle. The license plate was registered to a 2001 Dodge Ram Van 3500 Series. The Riverside Police Major Accident Investigation Team responded to the scene to investigate.The license plate number lead deputies to an apartment complex in the Arlanza – La Sierra neighborhood of Riverside at around 1:30 p.m. The suspect driver, Erasto Gomez was detained, questioned, and subsequently booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center for hit-and-run involving injury or death and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. The suspect van was impounded as evidence. Based on surveillance footage, authorities believe that Rodriguez’ speed at the time of the collision may have been a factor in the collision.

The mother of Linda Rodriguez has started a Go Fund Me Memorial account to assist with the expenses to provide for a proper memorial and burial for her only daughter. Silvia Rodriguez said on the Go Fund Me account that her daughter was on her way to work when her life was taken from her unexpectedly. “Linda was a loving daughter and had a special character that touched everyone positively,” said Silvia Rodriguez.  “Whoever came across her path they would not forget her laugh, humor, and positive attitude on life; she was a hard worker, studious, and she was trying to pursue and further her education.”

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should contact Detective K. Madsen at (951) 826-8723.

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