Police

$19k raised for skateboarder hit by suspected drunk driver in Citrus Heights

Kelly Cass, skateboarder
A GoFundMe page has been set up to support Kelly Cass, a 27-year-old skateboarder who was struck by a suspected DUI driver on Dec. 27, 2018 in Citrus Heights. // Image source: GoFundMe

Sentinel staff report–
The 27-year-old skateboarder who was hit by a suspected drunk driver on Auburn Boulevard near Greenback Lane last week is recovering from multiple surgeries and has received an outpouring of support through an online fundraising effort.

As of Thursday morning, more than 180 people had contributed to the GoFundMe online fundraiser, bringing the total to $19,000 out of a goal of $50,000.┬áThe skateboarder, Kelly Cass, suffered from shattered legs, a broken arm and a fractured neck due to the Dec. 27 collision — but family members told CBS Sacramento she “miraculously has no head or face trauma,” despite the crash sending her through the front windshield of the vehicle involved.

From last week: DUI suspect hit skateboarder, drove off with her inside

The suspected driver involved, identified by police as Angel Diego Huerta, is scheduled for an appearance in court Thursday afternoon. According to online inmate records, his charges include felony DUI, felony hit-and-run, kidnapping, and violation of parole. Records also show two additional misdemeanor charges have been added, including driving with a suspended or revoked license due to prior DUI and operating a vehicle not equipped with an interlock device.

He is ineligible for bail, due to a parole hold from a prior robbery and felony DUI incident that occurred in 2011.

“I do hope that he doesn’t have the chance to do this to anybody again,” the victim’s mother, Cristie Cass, told Fox 40 in an interview on Monday. She also told the TV station she was thankful to know her daughter would recover and said, “I feel like God was holding her in his hands through that windshield.”

Citrus Heights Police Lt. David Gutierrez told The Sentinel on Thursday that investigators are still looking at other possible associated factors in the collision, but said the primary collision factor was determined to be DUI and confirmed Huerta had been arrested for an alcohol-involved DUI after being evaluated by a drug recognition expert.

As previously reported, Citrus Heights police said the collision occurred around 5:40 p.m. on Dec. 27 on Auburn Boulevard, near Charwood Lane. Huerta is accused of hitting the skateboarder with his vehicle, sending her through his windshield, and then driving off with her still inside.

Police said he then drove about two miles away to the 6900 block of Mariposa Avenue, where he fled the vehicle and was later located after a search of the area was conducted.

Donations made to Cass’ fundraiser will go towards her recovery, according to a statement on the GoFundMe page.