A suspect arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border as an accomplice in the March 29 hit-and-run death of a USC student said Tuesday that the light was green as they approached the intersection and he hoped firefighters at a nearby station would help the victims.
Josue Luna, 32, is believed to have removed critically injured, 19-year-old Marcus Garfinkle off the hood of his wife's Infiniti moments after she allegedly ran a red light and struck him and Adrianna Bachan, 18, of Montecito, who was killed.
Luna was arrested Friday at the San Ysidro border crossing while attempting to cross into the U.S. from Mexico, police said.
On Tuesday, Luna said what happened was an accident, laced with intense panic. The 32-year-old father remembers seeing a green light as his wife drove through the intersection at Hoover Street and Jefferson Boulevard.
He initially thought their car had struck another vehicle.
After the collision, his thoughts went immediately to his 6-month-old son Andrew, who was riding in the back seat.
"I thought he died, but he finally started to cry. We thought about going back, but we didn't have it in us," Luna said.
He said he took Garfinkle off the hood of the car and gently put him down on the sidewalk. Luna said he hoped personnel at a nearby fire station would be able to provide help.
The couple fled the scene because they were afraid, Luna said.
"Every morning and every night I pray for them and their family," Luna said.
Luna said he has not spoken to his wife, Claudia Cabrera, since the day of the crash. Cabrera, who was allegedly driving the vehicle, has pleaded not guilty to charges of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run. The 30-year-old remains in jail in lieu of $1 million bail.
Luna said he grew up near USC's Greek Row. He is an unemployed carpenter. His wife has worked in a daycare center for 10 years. Together they have five children.
The youngest daughter has not been told her mother is in jail.
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Anyone with more information on the hit-and-run was asked to contact LAPD detectives at 323-290-6070 or 213-485-7336.