News Releases

June 2, 2017: Driver Pleads to Fatal Hit-and-Run Near USC

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

A motorist entered a plea yesterday for killing a bicyclist near the University of Southern California in 2015, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Deputy District Attorney Miriam Avalos said Andrew Williams, 33, pleaded no contest to one felony count each of voluntary manslaughter and hit-and-run driving resulting in death.

Sentencing in case BA440824 is scheduled on June 20 in Department 127 of the Foltz Criminal Justice Center. The defendant faces 12 years in state prison.

On Oct. 15, 2015, Williams was driving his SUV in the 3900 block of South Vermont Avenue when he came across Ruben Wharton Vanegas, 35, who was on a bicycle, the prosecutor said.

The two men got into an argument over the cyclist being on the road and after exchanging words, Vanegas hit the defendant’s side view mirror and rode in front of the vehicle, according to court testimony. Williams then ran over the victim and dragged him for about 50 feet, the prosecutor added. Vanegas died at the scene.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department’s South Bureau Homicide.