Hearing continued for hit and run suspect

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Sandra Arias, 28, pictured in a file photo at a previous hearing on the Joshua Valdez hit and run case at South County Courthouse. 

A plea hearing for Sandra Arias, the Morgan Hill woman accused of felony hit and run in an incident that critically injured Joshua Valdez, 23, was continued Tuesday at South County Courthouse.

Arias, 28, is next scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. Nov. 1 at the Morgan Hill courthouse, for a felony advanced resolution conference.

Arias is accused of hitting pedestrian Joshua Valdez early in the morning of June 16 while she was driving her Volkswagen Beetle, and failing to stop to help him or call for assistance, according to police.

Valdez was hospitalized for about two months due to injuries he suffered in the accident, including a traumatic head injury, several broken bones, internal bruises and road rash.

The accident happened near the intersection of Butterfield Boulevard and San Pedro Avenue while Valdez, a Gilroy High School graduate and Morgan Hill resident, was walking home from a friend’s house.

Police found him about 1 a.m., breathing but unconscious, while they were in the area looking for a suspect in an unrelated incident.

Arias told police that she was driving to her home on Cochrane Road from a friend’s house when she hit Valdez, according to court records.

She was arrested June 21 on suspicion of felony hit and run causing injury, authorities said.

Arias pleaded not guilty to the charge of felony hit and run July 10.

The felony advanced resolution proceeding in superior court typically allows defendants such as Arias to consider a plea bargain with prosecutors.

Valdez, 23, returned to his east central Morgan Hill home from the hospital in August. He attends weekly physical, occupational and speech therapy sessions to aid in his recovery from his injuries, and his condition continues to improve, according to his family.

While he was initially getting around in a wheelchair when he arrived home due to leg injuries suffered in the accident, his friends and mother Stacie Valdez reported on the Facebook page titled “Prayers for Joshie,” that he was using a walker at the end of last week.

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