Latoya Nelson faces felony charges for fatal hit and run last week

DENVER - The woman accused of walking away after crashing her car into another vehicle and killing the person inside was formally charged with three felonies and a misdemeanor.

The fatal accident happened during the afternoon rush hour Wednesday.

Police said Latoya Nelson, 29, was heading southbound on Kalamath and ran a red light at West 13th Avenue in Denver, striking a car that was traveling westbound on 13th.

Denver police identified the driver killed in the hit-and-run as 85-year-old Charlie Herrera.

"He wasn't doing anything wrong," Denver Police Sgt. Mike Farr said.

Witnesses told 7NEWS that the woman driver stumbled out of the car, and then ran from the scene on foot.

Nathan Martin witnessed the accident.

He told 7NEWS that he tried to assist the woman.

She had gold teeth, and was wearing black pants and a white shirt," Martin said. "She took off running."

He said also tried to render assistance to the victim but it didn't seem to work.

"I have training in first aid CPR," Martin said. "I just have it on my mind that he passed away in my arms, and it’s just really hard."

7NEWS learned the incident might have begun in the parking lot of a Burger King two blocks away, at Kalamath and Colfax Ave.

A security guard at the Burger King told 7NEWS they told the woman in the red car to leave and she sped off, hitting a car in the parking lot.

She then raced south on Kalamath toward 13th Avenue where the deadly crash occurred.

Farr said Nelson was arrested around 11 p.m. Wednesday, during a routine traffic stop at 31st and California Streets. She was driving a vehicle registered to another person.

Farr said the officer recognized Nelson from a photo sent out from headquarters, and made the arrest.

Nelson is charged with vehicular homicide, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and criminal impersonation, all felonies. She was also charged with a misdemeanor, third-degree assault.

"My condolences go to the 85-year-old man that apparently was just out driving," said Deborah Nelson, the suspect's mother. "Tending to his own business and that incident happened to him and it's just terrible. I'm very sorry."

“He was just a sweet, sweet man,” said neighbor Sara Magnotta. “It’s a bit traumatizing to find out that somebody could actually hit a human being who is so sweet and just walk away.”

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