Driver convicted of killing woman, 87, in hit and run

Richard Navarette was speeding through Vallarta Market parking lot when he struck elderly woman

@TheSunGazette

VISALIA – A man who left an elderly woman to die after hitting her with his car was sentenced to four years in prison last week.

Tulare County Superior Court Judge Brett Alldredge handed down the sentence on Nov. 8, 2017 to 30-year-old Richard Navarrette of Visalia for hit and run driving causing the death of an 87-year-old Angelina Ayala of Dinuba. On Oct. 13, 2017, Navarrette pleaded no contest to all charges which included one felony count of hit and run driving causing death, one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter, one misdemeanor count of driving while license was suspended and one misdemeanor count of resisting arrest.

Richard Navarette, 30 years old

Richard Navarette,
30 years old

At about 1:20 p.m. on Aug. 25, 2017, Navarette was driving his dark colored 4-door sedan at an excessive speed through the parking lot of Vallarta Market, 3112 N. Dinuba Blvd., when the car struck Ayala who was crossing the parking lot on foot. Ayala sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision and was pronounced deceased at Kaweah Delta Medical Center in Visalia.

Navarrette fled the scene of the incident and attempted to hide the vehicle. Navarrette was identified through surveillance videos and witnesses’ statements. When officers tracked the vehicle to Navarette’s home, he tried to run away. Navarrette later admitted that he violated his probation in a prior 2016 case for child abuse, possession of drugs for sale and unlawful firearm activity. His sentence included an additional 8 months consecutive for a violation of probation.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Kalina Laleva of the Elder Abuse Division and investigated by Officers Robert Gilson and Adam Aguallo of the VPD.

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