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Arrest report: Driver accused in deadly hit-and-run crash told police he left because he was scared

Esteban Hernandez_LVMPD hit and run mug.png
Posted at 12:00 PM, Mar 06, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Las Vegas police have arrested a 20-year-old man in connection to a deadly hit-and-run crash on Friday night.

Esteban Hernandez of North Las Vegas was brought into custody on Monday and booked into Clark County Detention Center on charges related to a crash on March 5.

According to the department, a 38-year-old man, later identified in police documents as Jose Lopez, was walking near North Decatur Boulevard and Vermont Avenue around 9:25 p.m. when he was hit by a car.

Police say he was not inside of a marked crosswalk at the time of the crash. The car did not stop and the driver did not call 9-1-1, according to authorities.

Witnesses stopped their cars and rendered aid until authorities arrived, police documents report.

Lopez did not survive. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

The suspected vehicle is registered to Hernandez's brother, the arrest report says.

His brother told police that Hernandez was using the car on Friday night to get some food and that Hernandez called him and said he hit someone crossing the roadway.

According to the report, his brother also told police Hernandez said he was scared and left the crash scene.

When he went home, the report says, Hernandez covered the vehicle with a car cover. He then saw reports of the crash on social media the next day and "knew it was his vehicle that was involved."

Police were told that family members tried to convince Hernandez to turn himself in.

During an interview with police, the report says Hernandez told officers he was driving with a friend in the passenger seat when he hit "either a dog or a person" and he did not stop because he was scared.

He also mentioned a previous DUI arrest in September and told officers he did not want to go back to jail, the report says.

The report also says Hernandez told officers the crash was not his fault because the person or dog ran in front of him.

The crash remains under investigation.