Driver Accused of Striking Boy Chasing Ball Faces Felony

A woman was charged Friday with a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident in connection with a hit-and-run crash in South Los Angeles that critically injured a 7-year-old boy.

Maria Del Carmen Trujillo, 41, of Los Angeles, pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom.

She is accused of striking the boy with her Nissan Pathfinder when the child ran into the street to retrieve a ball in front of his home in the 6900 block of Estrella Avenue, near West 70th Street, just after 6 p.m. Monday.

Trujillo allegedly got out of her sport-utility vehicle immediately after the crash, but left the scene about five minutes later without providing identifying information or rendering aid to the boy, authorities said.

Trujillo allegedly said she was going to park her vehicle, and witnesses did not get her license plate number, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The child, who was thrown several feet, suffered a fractured left foot and bleeding in the brain. Doctors do not know if he will have permanent brain damage, prosecutors said.

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department's South Traffic Division identified and arrested Trujillo on Wednesday as a result of evidence left at the scene, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Police worked with a parts employee at a local car dealership to identify the make of the vehicle using a broken fog light grill left behind, and further narrowed down possible suspects by running traffic tickets in the area, according to the District Attorney's Office.

Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau ordered Trujillo to remain jailed in lieu of $80,000 bail.

Trujillo is due back in court Dec. 17 for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require her to stand trial. If convicted, she faces a maximum of seven years in state prison.

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