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Utah man accused of hitting, killing woman on sidewalk to stand trial

Published November 26, 2013 12:50 pm

Courts • Man allegedly drove onto sidewalk, killing Pleasant Grove woman, before fleeing.
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A Pleasant Grove man accused of driving his car over a sidewalk and hitting and killing a woman in August will stand trial on charges, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Ramiro Serrano Hernandez, 27, is charged in Provo's 4th District Court with second-degree felony automobile homicide involving alcohol or drugs, third-degree felony failure to remain at an accident involving death, along with misdemeanor charges of causing an accident involving property damage and never obtaining a driver license.

After hearing evidence about the case during a Tuesday preliminary hearing, 4th District Judge James Taylor bound the case over for trial. Hernandez will be back in court on Dec. 19, where he is expected to enter a plea.

In the early hours of Aug. 25, Hernandez allegedly drove an SUV onto the sidewalk near 844 N. 100 West and hit 22-year-old Ashlee Zimmer, who was sitting on the sidewalk smoking a cigarette, according to police.

Hernandez lost control of the SUV, hitting Zimmer's car and then Zimmer, police said. Her body was dragged beneath the SUV as it careened through a fence and hit a building.

Zimmer's husband of four months heard the crash, found his wife pinned under the car and called police.

When paramedics arrived, Hernandez had fled, according to police. Zimmer was rushed to a hospital where she was pronounced dead.

Hernandez is being held in the Utah County Jail on $500,000 cash-only bail. Deputy Utah County Attorney Craig Johnson said the high bail was due to Hernandez's classification as an "aggravated re-entry illegal immigrant," since the man was deported in 2008, and is likely in the country illegally.

In the hours before the fatal crash, Lindon police cited Hernandez for intoxication and disorderly conduct while he was at a party, according to Orem police Lt. Craig Martinez. A friend gave Hernandez a ride home, Martinez said, but Hernandez later decided to drive.

jmiller@sltrib.com

Twitter: @jm_miller