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Man arrested after hit-and-run accident that killed 72-year-old in wheelchair

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A man is behind bars, suspected in a hit-and-run accident that killed a 72-year-old man in wheelchair. Police arrested 57-year-old Jose Hernandez. The accident happened on November 1st near the intersection of west Morris Street and south Tremont Street.

According to police, Hernandez admitted that he knowingly hit something, but did not say that he knew he hit somebody.

Two weeks ago, 72-year-old Roger Roska was just trying to cross the road in his powered wheelchair, when a car hit him.

“That impact did cause the chair to go off the side and cause that victim to end up laying in the roadway in, from what I understand, a puddle,” said IMPD officer Jim Gillespie.

Face down, in a puddle of mud, Roska died soon after. Police say the driver did not render aid. He didn’t stop, or even call 911. He just left Roska there to die. With no suspect or vehicle description, it was difficult for investigators to crack this case.

“With the hit-and run-accidents, a lot of times there is not a whole lot of evidence on scene. There’s not many witnesses and it may not be in a very well lit area. It can make it difficult for our investigators,” Gillespie said.

Although there weren’t witnesses, there was evidence left behind.

“In this case (investigators) got a break because there was at least some vehicle parts that they were able to identify and assign to a specific vehicle and begin to piece together that puzzle,” Gillespie said.

Investigators also tracked down surveillance video, which led them to the vehicle that police say Hernandez was driving. Police believe he fled because he didn’t have a driver’s license.

“Not having a driver’s license is a misdemeanor. Leaving the scene of an accident causing death; that’s a much heavier charge,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie said that Hernandez appeared to be remorseful. The case has been handed over to the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office for review.

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