Driver in custody after car hits, kills woman walking on Phoenix sidewalk

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Jeremy Johnson By Jennifer Thomas Jeremy Johnson By Jennifer Thomas

PHOENIX -- A 26-year-old man is in custody after the car he was driving hit and killed a woman as she was walking down an east Phoenix sidewalk with four family members Thursday night.

It happened at about 7:30 p.m. near 36th Street and Bell Road.

According to police, Jeremy Johnson lost control of the Cadillac he was driving and hit Hermida Lester, 35, and her 20-year-old sister.

Lester was rushed to the hospital where she later died. Her sister suffered minor injuries.

Police said Johnson left the scene of the accident. A good Samaritan who witnessed the accident followed the Cadillac. That person saw the driver and his two passengers get out and take off on foot.

Police set up a perimeter to search for the three people. The two passengers surrendered to officers and gave police the driver's name.

The Cadillac was registered to Mary Retzold, Johnsons's girlfriend. Police got in touch with Retzold and Johnson at Retzhold's address and Johnson was taken into custody.

Johnson told police he fled the scene because he was scared.

According to court paperwork, he was not under the influence of any substance at the time of the accident.

Johnson was booked into jail, charged with leaving the scene of a fatal traffic collision.