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story.lead_photo.caption Sarahi Rodelo

HOT SPRINGS -- A Hot Springs woman arrested Monday in connection with a Dec. 1 hit-and-run collision involving a horse-drawn carriage that injured a Bradley woman told Hot Springs police that she was driving the car involved in the accident, authorities said.

Maria Sarahi Rodelo, 22, was taken into custody at her residence around 2 p.m. Monday and charged with a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury or death, punishable by up to six years in prison, and misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended driver's license and reckless driving.

Rodelo, who had two previous arrests this year for driving on a suspended driver's license, was later released on $2,500 bond and is set to appear Jan. 8 in Garland County District Court.

According to the probable cause affidavit released Tuesday, officers were dispatched shortly after 9 p.m. Dec. 1 to the 300 block of Central Avenue in reference to a hit-and-run collision with injuries. Witnesses told them a maroon passenger car struck a horse-drawn carriage and then headed south on Central.

Mary Spruell, 79, of Bradley, was thrown out of the carriage by the impact and was transported to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries. Spruell was initially in the intensive care unit at CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs but was later moved to a regular room where she was listed in stable condition.

A second passenger, Allison Spruell, 23, also of Bradley, had minor injuries and was treated and released the night of the wreck.

The affidavit states video of the incident retrieved from the Ohio Club, 336 Central Ave., shows the carriage was southbound on Central in the inside lane. The video reportedly shows a maroon car coming into view, also southbound in the inside lane, attempting to change lanes to the outside lane, but unable to make the change in time.

The video shows the front bumper and fender of the vehicle striking the carriage and the occupants of the carriage being ejected onto the roadway. It also shows the vehicle continuing southbound, out of view, without stopping.

Officers were able to retrieve a turn signal housing, lens covers and a piece of Styrofoam left by the vehicle.

A witness followed the suspect vehicle and was able to call police. He stated the vehicle was a maroon Honda Accord and was able to get the first three digits of the license plate before losing sight of it. A dispatcher was able to locate a matching vehicle, a 1997 Honda Accord, in the Arkansas Crime Information Center computer belonging to a local man.

Officer Richard Nunez with the department's Special Operations Division took the case and reportedly recognized the registered owner of the vehicle and contacted him. The man told him the vehicle was now in the possession of a relative, identified as Rodelo, and gave police her address.

On Dec. 3, Nunez located the vehicle and Rodelo at her Cove Street address and interviewed her. In the affidavit, Rodelo said she was driving the vehicle on Dec. 1 during the time of the wreck."

Detectives were able to match the recovered car parts from the wreck to the Honda Accord Rodelo was driving. A warrant for Rodelo's arrest was issued Monday and she was arrested a short time later.

Metro on 12/12/2018

Print Headline: Police say Arkansas woman confessed as driver of car that hit horse-drawn carriage, left scene

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  • SJB
    December 12, 2018 at 12:19 p.m.

    Please don't credit her with "confessing." After learning there was a witness, video, car parts and an honest relative...she admitted to driving the car, not her wrong doing. BTW - Lovely mug shot. SMH!

  • UoABarefootPhdFICYMCA
    December 12, 2018 at 2:23 p.m.

    The justice system will do anything for some people...