Gwinnett police arrest driver accused in fatal hit-and-run

After allegedly hitting and killing a man while driving a Ford Econoline van, a Duluth man tried to run, according to witnesses.

But Manuel Dejesus Realejeno wasn’t able to get far. Gwinnett County police found the van’s owner, who led them to Realejeno, Cpl. Michele Pihera said Friday.

Realejeno, 36, was arrested and charged with vehicular homicide, hit-and run and no driver’s license, Pihera said. He was being held Friday at the Gwinnett jail without bond, records showed. Realejeno was also being held on a suspected immigration violation, according to jail records.

Shortly before 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Realejeno was traveling northbound on South Norcross Tucker Road and was attempting to turn left from the center turn lane, Pihera said.

At the same time, Sambi Velasquez, 33, was attempting to walk across South Norcross Tucker Road, but was not in a crosswalk, according to police. The van struck Velasquez, who ended up by the curb in front of 6069 South Norcross Tucker Road, police said.

“The driver abandoned the vehicle and fled the scene,” police said in an emailed statement. “He did not stop to render aid or call 911.”

Velasquez was taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, where he died from his injuries.