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Maria Augustina Abolino Lopez


Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office

Charges have been filed and an arrest warrant has been issued for a Santa Maria woman who allegedly struck and killed a bicyclist with her car last fall and fled the scene before police found her at her home. 

Victim Armando Recendis-Alanis, 74, died Oct. 24 following a crash that occurred Oct. 21 in the city of Santa Maria.

The suspect driver, identified as Maria Agustina Apolonio, 43, was charged by the District Attorney's Office on Nov. 22 with one count of leaving the scene of a crash that resulted in death or serious permanent injury and one count of vehicular manslaughter.

Apolonio also faces a misdemeanor count of unlawfully operating a vehicle without a valid driver's license, and a vehicle infraction of failing to yield at a left turn to the right of way. 

Just before 5 p.m. Oct. 21, officials responded to the traffic collision that reportedly occurred near the intersection of Broadway and Williams Street. Upon arrival, units found Recendis-Alanis unconscious on the roadway. According to witnesses, Recendis-Alanis was riding his bicycle eastbound on Williams and was struck by a car traveling southbound on Broadway.

The driver, later identified as Maria Agustina Apolonio, fled the area and continued traveling southbound, according to the Santa Maria Police. Officers, along with the assistance of a witness, were able to find Apolonio's vehicle a short time later in a nearby neighborhood, but Apolonio had reportedly fled the scene on foot. 

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At about 11:30 p.m. that evening, officers received information that the suspect driver had returned home and were able to apprehend Apolonio. 

Apolonio was arrested and booked into the County Jail for a felony hit-and-run with bail set at $50,000. She posted bail the next day and has since been released from custody.

Once charges were officially filed, a warrant for Apolonio's arrest was issued, the DA's Office confirmed Thursday. 

Gina Kim covers crime and courts for Santa Maria Times. Follow her on Twitter @gina_k210