Cathedral City Man, 26, Behind Bars For Allegedly Killing Man In Wheelchair During Hit-And-Run

CATHEDRAL CITY (CBS) — A Cathedral City man was in custody Saturday as the suspect in a deadly hit-and-run that killed a man in a wheelchair.

Randy Merida, 26, was arrested Saturday morning on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, hit and run causing injuries and driving under the influence in the death of Pedro Cervantes, 24, of Cathedral City, said Cathedral City police Sgt. Corwin de Veas.

The accident occurred on the 31-500 block of Avenue Maravilla at 8 p.m. Friday, he said, adding that Cervantes died this morning at Desert Regional Medical Center.

Merida sped off after striking Cervantes, but a witness called 911 and provided a description of the vehicle, police said. The witness followed the vehicle to San Joaquin and San Jose Roads in the Dream Homes neighborhood, where the suspect disappeared before fleeing on foot into the desert.

Information provided by witnesses enabled investigators to identify and locate Merida, who was arrested at 1 a.m., police said without disclosing further details.

De Veas said Merida did not have a driver’s license and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Merida is being held at the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning in lieu of $75,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear is court Thursday, according to jail records.

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)



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