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Civilian Tip Leads to Arrest in Fatal Hit-and-Run

Nick Slovikoski10 months ago

Christopher Mata, 39, and Nicole Johnson, 40, were arrested Tuesday by San Angelo police last Tuesday in connection with a hit-and-run accident that occurred in August.

Details of the Hit-and-Run Accident

According to News West 9, 21-year-old Carlos Lopez was struck and killed by an SUV around 2:30 am on August 2nd. Lopez was riding a skateboard when the incident occurred.

Investigators found surveillance footage and determined the vehicle in question to be a light-colored Ford SUV. Authorities immediately released a description of the vehicle to the public in hope of gathering additional information.

It was not until recently that their efforts paid off and San Angelo police received a tip regarding the SUV. The tip led them to the arrests of Chris Mata and Nicole Johnson.

The pair was charged with failure to stop and render in an accident involving a death and bond is set at $50,000 apiece.  

Hit-and-Runs On the Rise

  • One out of every five pedestrians killed on the roads die from a hit-and-run, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports New York and Los Angeles have the highest hit-and-run fatality rate.
  • Police report these suspects are very difficult to catch due to poor surveillance footage and minimal witness testimony.
  • A high proportion of unlicensed or illegal drivers is partially to blame for the increasing numbers. Many others are associated with drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or narcotics.


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