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Rosenberg Man Sentenced to 20 Years After Hit and Run that Killed Pedestrian

(ROSENBERG) – A 29-year-old Rosenberg man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after hitting a pedestrian with his car and fleeing without stopping or calling 911. The pedestrian died at the scene.

Joaquin Adrian Lima

According to Vehicular Crimes Chief Prosecutor Alison Baimbridge, Joaquin Adrian Lima was driving a Pontiac Vibe northbound in the 14000 block of the I-69 service road the evening of Dec. 20, 2021, when he struck Austin Reese, a pedestrian. Lima fled the scene without rendering any aid to Reese and did not call 911.

Lima stopped at a nearby Sugar Land gas station to check on his vehicle. Lima’s car was severely damaged, including significant front-end and windshield damage, loss of the right-side mirror, and back passenger window and fender damage. The defendant then continued to his apartment where he was seen on surveillance video further observing the damage, phoning a friend, and then moving the vehicle to hide the damage. Meanwhile, Reese died at the scene.

In the days that followed, Sugar Land detectives identified the vehicle using identifying numbers on car parts found at the scene and, with the assistance of DPS, located the vehicle with license plate cameras. Samples of glass and paint found on the victim’s body showed positive comparisons to known samples from the defendant’s vehicle. DNA collected from the vehicle also matched the victim’s DNA.

Evidence presented at trial showed that Lima told his friends and family that the police were looking for him and not to talk with them if they called. Lima moved out of his apartment, bought a new car and changed his appearance to avoid responsibility. He was located and arrested about 10 days later.

“The law is clear that if you are involved in any collision, all drivers have a duty to stop, exchange information and render aid if needed,” said Baimbridge. “When you do not take this duty seriously and actively attempt to avoid responsibility, you will be held accountable.”

District Attorney Brian Middleton added, “I have said repeatedly that a motor vehicle can be a deadly weapon when it is driven in an unsafe manner. If you injure someone while driving, you have a legal obligation to stop and render aid. The defendant killed a pedestrian and tried to conceal his actions to avoid responsibility. The sentence in this case was a just result for his callous behavior.”

Lima was tried in the 400th District Court before Presiding Judge Tameika Carter. Collision Involving Death is a second-degree felony punishable by 2-20 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000. Assistant District Attorneys Alison Baimbridge and Johnny Wen prosecuted the case on behalf of the State.


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