A man charged in connection with a hit-and-run that killed a 101-year-old pedestrian earlier this week pleaded not guilty on Friday, officials confirmed.
Ricardo Avalos, 41, charged with a felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter, pleaded not guilty on both counts, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Bail is set at $50,000, and a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 17, the DA’s office said.
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On Wednesday at about 6 a.m., 101-year-old Jose Noriega was crossing the intersection of Lorena Street and Opal Street in Boyle Heights when a van hit him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
Police said witnesses followed the fleeing 1997 Chevrolet Astro van and blocked its path a short distance away, where witnesses detained Avalos until police arrived and arrested him.
Noriega was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just before 8 a.m.
Community members told NBC4 they are outraged over Noriega's death at a crosswalk that many consider "dangerous."
The owners of a nearby bakery told NBC4 that in the two and half years that they have been there, there have been five major accidents in the crosswalk, two of which were fatal.