Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
April 16, 2009
Susan Kang Schroeder
COUPLE TO BE SENTENCED FOR HIT-AND-RUN
DEATH OF 88-YEAR-OLD PEDESTRIAN
AND COVERING UP THE CRIME
WESTMINSTER – A woman and her boyfriend will be sentenced tomorrow for the hit-and-run death of an 88-year-old pedestrian and covering up the crime. Elaine Carol Snitzer, 26, and Andrew Vincent Zaballero, 26, both of Orange, were found guilty by a jury on Feb. 26, 2009, of one felony count of hit-and-run causing death. Zaballero was also found guilty of one felony count of accessory after the fact. Snitzer will face a maximum sentence of four years in state prison and Zaballero will face a maximum sentence of four years and eight months in state prison at their sentencing tomorrow, Friday, April 17, 2009, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-18, West Justice Center, Westminster.
At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Jan. 24, 2007, Snitzer was driving 40 mph, the posted speed limit, southbound on Harbor Boulevard in Anaheim with her then-boyfriend, Zaballero in her black Toyota Prius. While driving, Snitzer hit Du Whang Kim, who was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk south of Orangewood Avenue. Kim was thrown about 50 to 80 feet from the impact of the crash. Snitzer’s windshield was completely shattered and partly caved in, and the hood was severely dented. The victim’s blood and hair was on the windshield of the car. Despite the substantial damage to Snitzer’s vehicle caused by the victim and knowing they have hurt a pedestrian, Zaballero urged Snitzer to keep driving and the two defendants fled the scene. Several witnesses at the scene called 9-1-1 and one witness was able to get Snitzer’s license plate information and give it to the police. Kim, a retired Police Officer from Korea with three children and six grandchildren, was transported to UCI Medical Center and pronounced dead soon after his arrival.
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on Jan. 25, 2007, Anaheim police officers located Snitzer’s parked car at Zaballero and Snitzer’s apartment complex. When the officers arrived, windshield repairmen, whom Zaballero had called, were in the process of replacing Snitzer’s shattered windshield. Snitzer and Zaballero were arrested at approximately 1:00 p.m. as they were driving out of their apartment complex.
Deputy District Attorney Keith Burke of the Felony Panel is prosecuting this case.