Pedestrian dies in Hillcrest Road collision

Driver arrested after fleeing accident scene, police say

Police arrested a 31-year-old motorist who allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian in east Hollister, then fled the scene without reporting the accident.

About 5:37pm Dec. 23, Hollister Police responded to a report of a traffic collision on the 1500 block of Hillcrest Road, according to a news release from the Hollister Police Department.

Responding officers located a 20-year-old female lying in the roadway. She was pronounced dead a short time after the initial responding officers arrived, police said.

The San Benito County Coroner’s Office later identified the victim as Hollister resident Halie Elliott. 

Witnesses to the accident told officers that the driver of the vehicle that struck Elliott drove away after the crash, police said. During the ensuing investigation, several witnesses contacted police with information about the incident.

This witness information led to the identification and location of the suspect vehicle—a van—and the alleged driver. Officers learned the driver’s name was Matthew Echevarria, 31, of Hollister, according to police.

Police then contacted Echevarria and directed him to perform a series of field sobriety tests, according to authorities. Officers determined there was probable cause to arrest Echevarria on suspicion of driving the vehicle that struck and killed the pedestrian on Hillcrest Road. The officers also determined Echevarria may have been under the influence of drugs at the time of the collision.

Echevarria was booked at San Benito County Jail on suspicion of hit and run from an injury collision, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs causing injury, police said. He may be further charged with driving with a suspended license.

The incident is still under investigation, according to police. Anyone with information about this case can call the Hollister Police Department at (831) 636-4330. Those wishing to remain anonymous can call the WeTip hotline at 800-87-CRIME. Information provided to WeTip may qualify for a reward.

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