A woman accused in a hit-and-run crash in Santa Ana last month that left a 26-year-old band teacher dead has been taken into custody, police said on Sunday.
"We're a broken family right now," Ralph Chavez, the victim's father, said. "Thank you all very much. I hope she can never be on the streets again."
Tracy Clapp, 36, of Santa Ana was arrested Saturday more than a month after allegedly striking Chris Chavez, a drum line instructor at Saddleback High School, and leaving the scene, according to the Santa Ana Police Department.
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Officers found Clapp driving away from a home in Santa Ana in a stolen car and took her into custody following a brief chase. She was taken to a hospital to recover from injuries suffered during the takedown and is expected to be booked on Sunday, police said.
"I didn't think it was going to be that intense of a capture," Rachel, the victim's sister, said.
Clapp apparently tried to conceal her identity, dying her hair pink and getting a tattoo on her cheek. She also used blue and green contacts, police said.
On April 20, Chavez was crossing a green light on Bristol Street at Central Avenue about 2 a.m., when a black BMW speeding through a red light struck him, police said.
A witness saw what happened and took a photo that shows a woman walking toward her four-door car with paper plates. Less than a minute later, investigators said she got back in and took off.
Chavez was critical condition and doctors told the family he had a 50/50 chance of survival. The teacher died a week after the crash.
Chavez always loved music, his family said. After graduating from Saddleback High School, he returned to teach the drum line.
Since the incident, police were searching for a 2004 to 2010 500 BMW series driven by a woman only described to be between 5-foot-2 and 5-foot-4. A $20,000 reward was being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction of those responsible in the crash.
Tips from the public were crucial in tracking Clapp down, authorities said.
The BMW has not yet been found and it is unknown if it was a stolen car.