Man facing charges for deadly hit-and-run

By: Autumn Garrett

A 23-year-old Overland Park man is facing charges in the fatal hit-and-run of a Kansas City woman, also injuring her two children, in September at East 12th Street and Bales Avenue.

According to charging documents, on September 17 just after 6 a.m., Kansas City, Mo., Police (KCPD) officers observed a stolen gray 2007 Saturn Vue at Independence and Cypress Avenues and suspected the driver of soliciting a prostitute. The driver, seeing the marked police car and believing that police would pull him over, began weaving in and out oncoming lanes of traffic at a high rate of speed until it left the officers’ sight, traveling to East 12th Street and Bales.

At the same time, a white 2014 Hyundai Sonata was traveling eastbound on East 12th Street approaching the intersection of Bales Avenue. Upon arriving at the intersection, the driver of the Saturn Vue failed to stop for a stop sign and struck the Hyundai Sonata’s driver side door. 

The force of the collision caused both vehicles to travel off of the roadway and crash into surrounding parked cars along the street. 

The driver and a front passenger of the Saturn Vue immediately fled the crash scene on foot and did not return. The driver of the Hyundai Sonata, Valeria Villa-Alvarado, a 31-year-old mother and a Kansas City area high school secretary, died on scene from the injuries she sustained in the crash.The front and rear passengers of the Hyundai Sonata were transported to an area hospital with minor injuries.

KCPD officers and detectives investigated the crash, searching for the driver of the 2007 Saturn Vue. Witnesses, residents of nearby apartments, said they witnessed the male driver of the vehicle run after crashing into the Hyundai and one briefly gave chase. One witness was shown six photographs of people in a photo array to include the possible suspect driver of the Saturn Vue; they were able to positively identify the male, Arnold L. King.

An anonymous tip to the officers stated that, on September 17, King saw the police were behind him and he thought they were going to stop him, so he ran the stop sign, colliding with Villa-Alvarado’s car. King went to University of Kansas Hospital to be treated for his injuries and when the hospital told King they had to call the authorities, he left.

The passenger of the Saturn Vue, witnessed limping northbound on Indiana Avenue, was taken by KCFD ambulance to an area hospital, where they gave a statement that they have been solicited for prostitution by a Black male matching King’s description. The witness said the Vue had a strong odor of marijuana and the driver appeared under the influence of PCP.

King was charged Monday, Nov. 15, with vehicular manslaughter and leaving the scene of a crash in September that killed Valeria Villa-Alvarado and injured her two children.

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