WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) -- An 18-year-old Waterbury man has been arrested for the hit and run incident that killed an elderly woman.
Marc A. Santos, 18, turned himself in for the August 18 incident that killed 90-year-old Nella Atkins.
Police say Santos admitted to striking Atkins with his black 1995 Honda Accord around 1:30 a.m. Saturday morning at the intersection of Highland Avenue and Bradley Avenue.
Atkins suffered from dementia and had wandered away from home that morning. Her family believes she was walking to church.
Of course Atkins' family is wondering what would possess someone to leave a 90-year-old woman to die in the streets.
"I think that he panicked. I think he was afraid he was going to get arrested, realized the severity of his actions, was afraid about going to jail, so he fled the scene and then after the fact took no action to report it," Captain Chris Corbett said. "He actually then repaired his windshield to conceal his actions."
Santos' car has been seized as evidence and is being analyzed for forensic evidence.
The teenager has been charged with felony evading responsibility, which could mean 10 years in jail. He could face additional charges when the reconstruction of the accident is complete.
He was held overnight on a $100,000 bond and was arraigned Thursday morning.
Santos hung his head as he faced the judge Thursday. The 18-year-old's arrest brought Michael Pieksza to tears.
"I would like to personally say thank you to the Waterbury Police Department and everything they've done since the accident," said Pieksza, Atkins' nephew. "They've been absolutely unbelievable to my family. They've been with us every step of the way."
"My brother feels sorry. He didn't mean to do it," said Betzabeth Santos, sister. "He didn't see her. He wears glasses, but he wasn't wearing them. It was raining."
According to court documents, Santos' girlfriend, Grace Velazquez was talking on the phone to Santos about getting his car fixed and a woman with dementia. Her mother overheard and someone tipped off police.
"He got scared. He probably thought he hit an animal, he left. He changed the windshield," said Jesus Santiago, cousin. "How about the people who were supposed to be watching her? C'mon man. She's 90 years old, she has mental problems."
Pieksza says his aunt had around the clock care for her dementia, but everyone was asleep.
"I would say he would need to accept responsibility for his actions before he worries about what my aunt's actions were that night," Pieksza said.
Her funeral was Tuesday.
"She lived a great life, 90 years is a great life," Pieksza said. "Unfortunately, it had to end so tragically."
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