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| Courtesy Orem City Police Ramiro Serrano Hernandez
Utah driver accused of killing woman on sidewalk pleads guilty

Courts » Ramiro Serrano Hernandez pleaded guilty to second-degree felony automobile homicide.

By Jessica MIller

| The Salt Lake Tribune

First Published Jan 21 2014 12:36 pm • Last Updated Jan 21 2014 08:59 pm

A Pleasant Grove man accused of driving his car over a sidewalk and hitting and killing a woman in August has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Ramiro Serrano Hernandez, 27, was originally 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.

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Last Friday, Hernandez accepted a plea deal and pleaded guilty to the automobile homicide charge, while the remaining charges were dismissed. He faces a prison term of one to 15 years when he is sentenced on Feb. 27.

In the early hours of Aug. 25, Hernandez 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 on foot, 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


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Twitter: @jm_miller



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