Los Angeles

Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Alleged Distracted Driving Case That Left Man Dead

What to Know

  • A motorist checking her cellphone messages allegedly struck and fatally injured a 65-year-old man.
  • The man was struck while trying to catch a bus in the Westlake District.
  • The victim was struck near the area of Sixth and Grand View streets.

A motorist who allegedly struck and fatally injured a 65-year-old man in the Westlake district while checking her cellphone messages last month pleaded not guilty Friday to vehicular manslaughter.

Rosario Maximilia Valdezinda, 38, is charged in the death of Yong Do Kim of Los Angeles, who was struck about 8 p.m. Jan. 23 near the area of Sixth and Grand View streets.

Kim was running across Sixth Street in a marked crosswalk when he was hit by Valdezinda's eastbound vehicle, Los Angeles police said.

"It was determined that Valdezinda was looking at her messages on her cellphone when the collision occurred," according to a police statement. "She remained at the scene and attempted to render aid as required by law."

Police subsequently booked Valdezinda on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter.

"The driver actually was on her cellphone looking at her WhatsApp application viewing her messages," Detective Moses Castillo of the LAPD's Central Traffic Division said.

Valdezinda was released from custody the same day after posting $50,000 bail, according to jail records.

She is due back in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom March 5, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to allow the case against her to proceed to trial.

If convicted as charged, Valdezinda could face up to six years in state prison, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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