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Trial date reset for driver accused of hitting skateboarder in Citrus Heights

Angel Diego Huerta, booking photo. // Image courtesy, CHPD

By Rylie Friesen–
The suspect accused of hitting a skateboarder in Citrus Heights and driving off with her after she flew through his window is still awaiting trial, after his original February trial date was reset.

Angel Diego Huerta has remained in the Sacramento County Jail for the past 14 months. His bail has remained at $1 million, despite several bail review hearings listed on county court records.

Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shelly Orio confirmed Huerta now has a trial date set for March 10, with a pre-trial readiness conference at the end of this month.

Charges include felony DUI, felony hit-and-run, violation of parole, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and operating a vehicle not equipped with an interlock device, due to a prior DUI. Initial charges of kidnapping were dropped shortly after his arrest. 

Meanwhile, the woman whom Huerta is accused of hitting, Kelly Cass, is recovering and now plans to run a 5k race — despite being initially told by doctors she would never walk again.

The Reno Gazette Journal last month reported on the events of her accident as well as her improvements, calling her the “Reno Miracle” after surviving a crash where she was “left for dead.” Cass is a Reno native, who had moved to Citrus Heights shortly before being hit.

On Dec. 27, 2018, Cass was skateboarding to work in Citrus Heights when police say she was hit by Huerta. He kept driving even after she flew through his windshield. 

In an interview last year with KOLO-Reno, Kelly’s mother, Christie Cass, said her daughter had asked Huerta to “please call for help,” but after realizing he wasn’t going to, she managed to call police herself. 

“He stopped his car in an intersection and left her in there and walked away,” Christie said. 

A cyclist 100 yards away from the collision saw the accident take place and frantically called for help as he tried to find her body. 

Kelly told police dispatch that she had been hit by a car and didn’t know where she was. Police tracked her location using the navigation from her phone. 

After being taken to the hospital, Kelly was left with “mangled legs being held together by metal pins and gauze,” as well as a broken tailbone and neck, The Gazette reported. She was hooked up to an IV, heart monitor, and oxygen.

Doctors told her she would never be able to walk again, but after a year of recovery, Cass is beginning to use her legs again. Photos on her GoFundMe page show her active outdoors, and KOLO video shows her walking in physical therapy.

In an email last week, Christie Cass told The Sentinel her daughter hasn’t yet set a target date for running a 5k yet, “but she is beginning to train on a stationary bicycle to loosen up her ankles and to improve her cardio fitness.”

She still awaits another surgery to address drop foot.

“I think I’ll be good within a year,” Kelly told the Reno Gazette last month. “I take every day one day at a time and that’s how I get through it.”

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