Mother Killed by Hit-and-Run Driver After Birthday Party ID'd

Surveillance footage from a nearby home captured the deadly hit-and-run, neighbor says

An alleged hit-and-run driver turned himself in Sunday, less than 24 hours after a Southern California mother was struck and killed outside a family party in Inglewood, police said.

Jesus Cazares, 38, of Inglewood, was arrested about 3 p.m. Sunday, according to the Inglewood Police Department.

Tipsters helped police tentatively identify the hit-and-run driver and Cazares later called Inglewood police saying he wanted to surrender, authorities said.

He is accused of fatally striking Elisa Alvarez, 47, on Saturday night, moments after she buckled her 2-year-old niece into a car seat outside a relative's home in Inglewood.

A fund has been created to cover medical and funeral costs for Alvarez, a single mother to a 25-year-old son. To donate, click here.

"Her smile and laugh could light up the darkest room," her son, Crystyan Fernandez, wrote on the page. "Her life was taken very unfairly, and we appreciate all the help and support we can get."

Alvarez, who lives in Santa Monica and is pictured below, was in Inglewood to celebrate the birthdays of two relatives, ages 1 and 12, relatives said.

Family members told NBC4 the 47-year-old mother walked her toddler niece to her brother’s car about 10 p.m.


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After helping the little girl into the backseat, Alvarez was struck by a pick-up truck traveling southbound. She died at a hospital.

A sergeant at the scene said the hit-and-run occurred as family members were leaving the birthday party and some relatives and friends witnessed the deadly crash.

It happened on Oak Street between Nectarine and Olive streets, Inglewood police Sgt. Francisco Ruiz said.

Surveillance cameras at a nearby home captured the crash and the footage has been handed over to Inglewood police investigators.

The pick-up truck that killed Alvarez was found outside a restaurant about a half mile south of the crash scene just prior to Cazares' arrest, police said.

Cazares was booked on felony hit-and-run charges and is being held on $50,000 bail, police said. Additional charges may be added pending further investigation.

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