Pasadena man accused of DUI, hit-and-run in death of Arcadia woman denies charges




ARCADIA >> A Pasadena man accused of fatally striking an elderly woman with his pickup truck in Arcadia while drunk, then fleeing the scene, pleaded not guilty on Friday to charges filed in connection with the collision, authorities said.

Prosecutors filed charges of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run against Alex Cerna, 51, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Sarah Ardalani said.

He was at the wheel of a Ford Explorer Sport Trac pickup truck when it struck a 77-year-old Arcadia woman at Baldwin and Arcadia avenues, according to Arcadia police Sgt. Dan Crowther.

The woman succumbed to her injuries at a hospital. Her identity was not released Friday pending notification of her family, coroner’s officials said.

The driver fled the scene, but witnesses provided police with a description of the hit-and-run truck, including its license plate number, Crowther said.

Police found and arrested Cerna at his home in Pasadena a short time later, Crowther said. They determined he was under the influence of alcohol.

Cerna was being held in lieu of $80,000 bail pending his next court appearance, scheduled on Jan. 12.

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to call the Arcadia Police Department at 626-574-5151. Anonymous tipsters can call L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.

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