Suspect in Reedley fatal hit-and-run in custody

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- CHP officers finally caught up with the man who they say hit and killed a Reedley woman, then jumped out of his car and ran away on Sunday.

Officers say Ruben Perez was involved in three separate hit-and-run crashes Sunday, and even got into a pursuit with Fresno police earlier in the day.

The suspect knew they were just a few steps behind him the past few days, according to officers. Relatives and those who know him were quick to call investigators the minute he showed up in their neighborhood.

Garrett Perez with the California Highway Patrol said, "He wasn't seen until late yesterday afternoon about 2 to 5pm. He was witnessed in the area of Palm and H Street."

Tuesday morning, officers say Perez was knocking on a relatives door near Shields and Pleasant. But a neighbor told him to leave and reminded him that he was a wanted man.

Officers believe Perez was going about 70 or 80 miles an hour as he exited Highway 180 at Cedar Sunday afternoon. Mary Sandoval, 55, was in the backseat of a car driven by her husband. Investigators say they were getting onto the 180 when Perez slammed into them. She died at the scene, her husband had major injuries. Officers say by the time they arrived, Perez was gone.

CHP Officer Perez explained, "After the crash happened witnesses say the gentleman exited the vehicle, which is believed to be Ruben Perez now. And he fled the scene in an easterly direction."

Perez had two previous felony convictions for drug possession. He had a narcotics warrant Sunday before officers say he went on a crime spree and managed to get away from several law enforcement agencies.

Officers say he Perez suffered moderate injuries in the fatal crash and needs medical treatment before he is booked in jail.

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