Local

Man accused in Tulare Co crash headed to trial

Friday, June 29, 2012

A man accused of a deadly hit-and-run that killed a South Valley one-year-old will soon go to trial.

A judge in Visalia has found enough evidence to try 21-year-old Eduardo Morales for the killing of Daniel Salazar.

Salazar's family members tell Action News the toddler would have turned two in May.

Prosecutors say an Easter Sunday tragedy left that toddler dead and a South Valley man is now headed to trial on some very serious charges.

In less than two weeks, 21-year-old Eduardo Morales will head to trial after prosecutors say he hit killed Salazar before leaving the scene.

Officer Jeremy Grove with the California Highway Patrol took the stand on Friday. He arrived at the accident scene soon after the collision and interviewed witnesses who say Morales was at an Easter celebration before the hit and run.

"They told me that he had been drinking and they believed he had been intoxicated," Grove testified.

Prosecutors say Salazar was playing on this road with other children near Avenue 80 and Road 126 in Tulare County when he died.

They say Morales, who already had a DUI conviction, was speeding and driving on a suspended license when he hit and killed the toddler.

Investigators say Morales only turned himself in 3 days later, but Morales' defense attorneys say he didn't know he hit anyone.

"I think the evidence is clear that he had no knowledge that he struck a child," defense attorney Victor Perez said.

Morales's mom and sister tell Action News the accident has also hurt their family.

Morales is charged with felony hit and run, misdemeanor manslaughter and for driving on a suspended license.

He has pleaded not guilty. His trial is scheduled to start on July 16.

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Tags:
tulare, tulare county, dui, crimetracker, accident, hit and run, local, mariana jacob
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