Family of man who struck and killed boy helped hide evidence of Hit-And-Run
The Bakersfield family took a trip together to deal with the “stress” of their actions.
The family of a man who struck and tragically killed a 16-year-old boy worked together to hide evidence of the fatal hit-and-run accident. According to court documents, Juan Rodelas Ortega was allegedly at the wheel of a red pickup truck that hit and killed Angel Berumen on January 25, 2022, in Bakersfield.
After hitting the boy, Ortega fled the scene and went home, where he told his wife and daughter what happened. Ortega told investigators he thought his truck had hit a bump in the road and didn’t notice any damage to his truck until he got home. However, Ortega’s wife told authorities that her husband thought he had hit a homeless person who appeared out of nowhere.
Ortega’s wife and daughter advised him to turn himself in, but Ortega was afraid he’d go to jail and was concerned about who would take care of his family if he did.
Court reports detail what happened in the hours and days following the tragic hit-and-run accident. It appears the couple drove by the accident scene later when Ortega’s wife took him to work but didn’t stop when they noticed another vehicle at the accident scene. It wasn’t until he returned home from work that he saw on the news that he had hit a boy.
It’s at this point, his family decided the best course of action was to get rid of the truck. Statements collected from Ortega’s son-in-law Osbaldo Ortega, detail a lengthy process of purchasing truck parts like a grille and hood from neighboring cities (to minimize any suspicions) and wrapping the truck in new vinyl to change its appearance.
The family was so stressed about trying to get rid of the truck; they took a day off while repairing it and went to Disneyland. Despite the family’s efforts to hide evidence, authorities were watching Ortega’s home on Greenwood Ave in Bakersfield after being tipped off. On February 3rd, authorities served search warrants at Ortega’s home and five family members were arrested.
Jasmine Burleson, Angel Berumen’s mother, says she’s disgusted by the family’s actions. “I could have lived with the fact that this was an accident if he would’ve called for help, instead of him calling his wife, telling her, ‘I just hit someone, I need to put the car in the garage,'” Burleson said.
At Adamson Ahdoot LLP, we are frequently asked if it’s possible to recover compensation in a hit-and-run accident if the at-fault driver is not found. Although every case is unique, it may be possible to collect financial compensation from your insurance carrier if we cannot locate the at-fault driver.
Our law firm works to recover as much evidence as possible, so you get the highest amount of compensation available. For more information about recovering compensation for a tragic death or injury sustained in a hit-and-run accident, contact a law firm with over 100 years of combined legal experience.
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