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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Norwalk

Truck Driver Held in Fatal Hit-and-Run

October 23, 1998

A truck driver arrested for allegedly driving off after striking and killing a Canoga Park man who was changing a tire on a freeway in Northridge was turned in by his boss, authorities said Thursday.

California Highway Patrol officers arrested Fenton Dee, 52, of Norwalk on Wednesday on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter.

As news reports spread of the police search for the truck driver after the accident Tuesday on the Simi Valley Freeway, Dee's supervisor recognized the license plate number on a TV newscast and called authorities.

"I just couldn't believe it happened," said the supervisor, a manager of the TeeBerry Express trucking terminal in Santa Fe Springs. The manager, who asked not to be identified, said he confronted Dee about the hit-and-run accident and then called the CHP while the driver sat nearby.

"I just felt I had a moral obligation to turn him in," he said.

CHP investigators said they went to the truck terminal, inspected Dee's dented vehicle and arrested him. He was being held at Van Nuys jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

"There were paint transfers on the trailer" from the car that was hit, said a CHP officer. "He basically admitted to driving the vehicle, but he didn't believe he was involved in any accident."

Witnesses told CHP officers the semitrailer swerved while traveling in the eastbound lanes of the freeway and sideswiped Carlos Gonzalez and his rental car, which was properly parked on the shoulder near Tampa Avenue.

"Your average, reasonable and prudent person in the same situation should have realized he had been in an accident," the officer said.

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