Charges Filed in Hit-And-Run That Killed Baby

Three criminal charges, including vehicular manslaughter, were filed Tuesday against a suspected drunken driver accused in a
hit-and-run crash that killed an 11-month-old girl and injured her 5-year-old sister and mother on Super Bowl Sunday.

Henry Yovanni Moreno, 30, of South Gate, was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles on one count each of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, driving with a .08 percent blood-alcohol content causing injury and leaving the scene of an accident.

The 11-month-old girl, Yudith Ausencio, was struck while being pushed in a baby carriage in a marked crosswalk. Her 5-year-old sister, who was walking beside her mother, was critically injured, and the woman was seriously hurt.

"The driver struck them and then drove away, without stopping, leaving a horrible and deadly crime scene," Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton told reporters Monday.

Police credited quick thinking by a witness who followed the driver from the crash scene at Bonnie Brae Street and Olympic Boulevard shortly after 6 p.m. Sunday and got the car's license plate number.

Moreno was arrested several hours later.

Rigoberto Lizarraga -- who was driving down the other side of the street -- said he heard an impact, quickly glimpsed over, saw clothes flying in the air and did a U-turn to follow the vehicle.


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Lizarraga said instinct prompted him to follow the car and get the car's license plate number, which he gave to police.

Investigators subsequently located the black 1991 Honda near Staples Center at 12th Street and Figueroa Avenue.

Investigators obtained surveillance video from Staples Center showing the driver parking the car and leaving the location, and a police dog tracked a scent from inside the car about three-quarters of a mile away, Los Angeles police Capt. Ronald Marbrey told reporters Monday.

The police dog lost the scent, but investigators were able to get additional video of the man from another location, along with "significant documents" recovered from the car that resulted in Moreno's arrest, Marbrey said.

Police interviewed Moreno's wife and contacted one of his friends, who said Moreno had just left the friend's home, and he was arrested while leaving the residence about 4 1/2 hours after the crash, according to the police captain.

Police believe Moreno was driving under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash, based on tests performed after his arrest, the captain said.

"We're very, very happy that we could give this family some (resolution) to this scenario," Marbrey said.

Moreno is from Honduras, according to investigators. Police don't know his immigration status, and have referred that issue to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz.

Prosecutors were asking that Moreno's bail be set at $100,000.

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