SANTA ANA – Prosecutors filed hit-and-run charges Tuesday against an Irvine man accused of fleeing Halloween night from the scene of an accident in which his girlfriend died and his 13-month-old daughter was injured.
Francisco Javier Montano, 21, was charged with one felony count of hit-and-run with permanent injury or death, one felony count of child abuse and endangerment, and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid license, a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office said.
His Tuesday afternoon arraignment was continued to Nov. 22. He is being held in lieu of $200,000 bail.
If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and six months in jail.
Police officials said previously that they believed Montano’s girlfriend Gloria Sanchez, 21, and daughter were injured after being pushed or jumping from a moving vehicle. Witnesses told police at the scene that they believe someone driving a dark-colored pickup was carrying the mother and her daughter before the accident, officials said.
About 8 p.m. Oct. 31, Montano was driving a Toyota RAV4 eastbound near 1600 W. Edinger Ave. in Santa Ana, prosecutors said. He is accused of failing to stop the vehicle after Sanchez, who was holding the child, fell out of the vehicle.
Prosecutors said Montano continued driving and left the victims on the street.
Paramedics took Sanchez to a hospital, where she later died of her injuries. The infant suffered minor injuries, the news release said.
Montano was arrested the next day after he turned himself in to police.
Anyone with additional information is asked to contact Supervising District Attorney Investigator Randy Litwin at 714-347-8492 or Santa Ana police 714-245-8390.
By VIK JOLLY / ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
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