Trial Starts for Taxi Driver in Hit-and-Run

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A taxi cab driver is scheduled to face trial tomorrow for crashing into a pedestrian, resulting in the victim’s death, and driving away from the scene.

Ronald Aviles, 57, San Clemente, is charged with one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury or death. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.

Opening statements began on March in West Justice Center, Westminster.

At approximately 3 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2015, Aviles is accused of driving his taxi van southbound on East Coast Highway.

He is accused of crashing into 23-year-old Travis Marton, as the victim was crossing East Coast Highway westbound at the intersection of Newport Coast Drive in Newport Beach. Aviles is accused of unlawfully failing to stop his vehicle and failing to render assistance to the injured victim. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Newport Beach Police Department, who investigated this case, found Marton’s body lying in the intersection.

The Laguna Beach Police Department located Aviles driving in his taxi van in Laguna Beach, approximately five miles from where the victim’s body was found, and arrested the defendant.

At the time of the arrest, Aviles is accused of driving the taxi with damage consistent with the collision, including a smashed windshield, dents on the hood, dented bumper, and a missing driver’s-side mirror.

Aviles is accused of fleeing the crash that scattered debris at the collision site consistent with the damaged and missing vehicle parts.

Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell is prosecuting this case.

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