Monday, August 26 2013, 12:21 AM MDT
Orem Newlywed Killed In Hit-and-Run
By: Christine L. McCarthy
(KUTV) Orem police arrested a man who allegedly fled the scene after hitting and killing a woman while driving drunk early Sunday morning.
Ashlee Zimmer, 22, a newlywed, was sitting on the curb smoking a cigarette at 844 North 100 West, across from her home, when Ramiro Serrano Hernandez, 26, swerved toward her in his friend's Jeep Cherokee, according to Orem police Lt. Craig Martinez.
"He crossed over the road, hit the victim and then hit into the building," Martinez said.
Hernandez crashed into the back of a salon, causing a loud bang that sent Zimmer's husband and other neighbors running outside.
"I was in the back bedroom and I heard this big crash, really, really loud," neighbor Toni Dickson said.
Zimmer's husband found her severely injured.
"They live right nearby here," Martinez said of Zimmer and her husband. "He heard the crash, came out to see what was happening, and saw his wife underneath our suspect's truck, and immediately called
Hernandez made an attempt to leave in the SUV, but wasn't successful, police said.
"He tried to back up once, went a little ways, tried to go forward again, hit the building again," Martinez said.
Hernandez ran from the scene on foot before Zimmer was rushed to a local where she died, Martinez said.
Two shifts of Orem officers, K-9 units, Lindon police and a Joint Criminal Apprehension Team searched for Hernandez. Thirty minutes later, a K-9 located him.
"We found him about two blocks away from here... across State Street, hiding behind a dumpster," Martinez said. "He said he was scared and didn't know what was going on. And when he saw the police lights flashing is when he decided to hide. "
Hernandez was booked into jail on suspicion of automobile homicide by DUI and leaving the scene of an accident.
"This is a horrible situation for everyone involved, especially the family," Martinez said. "A lot of lives were changed just because someone decided to get behind the wheel of a vehicle while they'd been drinking."
Zimmer's husband remembered his wife of just four months as an "outgoing, bubbly, caring person," who recently graduated from Marinello Beauty school and got a job about one month ago.
"She was an amazing person," said her friend, Brianna Jarvis, who helped plan a vigil for Zimmer at the scene of the accident. "She loved to talk. She loved to tell stories."
Neighbors and friends lit candles and placed flowers at the scene, where a picture of her sat in the grass in front of a broken fence and boarded-up windows of the salon.
Cigarettes strewn on the road and orange spray paint left by investigators were harsh reminders to visitors of just what happened overnight.
"It's just a shock to me and a shock to this neighborhood," Dickson said.
Lindon police had cited Hernandez late Saturday night for being drunk and disorderly at a wedding, Martinez said, before a friend gave him a ride.
Hernandez has had run-ins with Orem police, most of them alcohol-related incidents, Martinez said.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)