Sentinel staff report–
The driver suspected of colliding with a skateboarder and then driving off with her inside appeared in court for the first time on Thursday.
With his head down and wearing an orange jumpsuit, suspect Angel Diego Huerta faced Sacramento Superior Court Judge Jaime R. Roman in a brief court appearance. He did not enter a plea, but was read his charges and appointed an attorney to represent him, followed by an in-court collection of a DNA reference sample from inside his cheek, collected by a Citrus Heights police officer.
Police spokesman Anthony Boehle said the DNA sample being collected in the courtroom was “rare,” but it worked out logistically since the officers were downtown obtaining a warrant to get the DNA sample the same day. He said the sample was needed in order to establish Huerta was in the vehicle, since officers did not apprehend him at the scene of the crash, but instead located him several miles away where he allegedly fled the scene.
Charges against Huerta include felony DUI, felony hit-and-run and violation of parole. Online inmate records indicate charges of kidnapping and parole violation have been dropped, but two additional misdemeanor charges have been added for driving with a suspended or revoked license, due to a prior DUI, and operating a vehicle not equipped with an interlock device.
He is being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail, in lieu of $1 million bail.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe fundraiser for the skateboarder Huerta allegedly hit has raised over $50,000 for her recovery. The victim, 27-year-old Kelly Cass, underwent another surgery on Friday, according to the latest update posted on her GoFundMe page.
“They had to remove about 1/2 of the muscle in her right lower leg, because it had died after being without blood for so long and was increasing her risk of infection,” the update says. “There was also a shredded nerve in her left leg that they had to remove and she will be left with ‘drop foot’ which means the left foot will be kind of limp. The doctors have also informed us that Kelly will likely not walk again without braces… Even through receiving the news today, we are so grateful that our Kelly is alive and with no brain damage.”
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.
Huerta’s next court date is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 16.
*This story was updated Jan. 8 with latest fundraising totals for Kelly Cass’ recovery fund.