Man arrested in DUI death held on $500,000 bail

Ramiro Serrano-Hernandez

PROVO -- A man accused of hitting and killing an Orem woman while driving drunk has taken a plea deal.

Ramiro Hernandez was arrested in August after hitting and killing a woman in Orem while driving drunk. Hernandez was charged with automobile homicide by DUI, a second-degree felony; failure to remain at an accident involving death, a third-degree felony; an accident involving property damage, a class B misdemeanor; and driving without a valid license, a class C misdemeanor.

Hernandez recently pleaded guilty to automobile homicide by DUI, a second-degree felony, and in exchange for the guilty plea, the remaining three charges against him were dropped.

According to police reports, Ashlee Zimmer was sitting on the curb next to a parked car at 844 N. 100 West in Orem at about 1:30 a.m. on Aug. 25 when Hernandez, who was driving north on 100 West, swerved across traffic, hit the parked car and then Zimmer and continued on to crash through a fence. Zimmer later died from her injuries.

According to police, Hernandez fled the scene of the crash but was found a few blocks away hiding behind a garbage receptacle.

Hernandez already had been cited for intoxication and disorderly conduct on Aug. 24 before he got behind the wheel of a friend's Jeep Grand Cherokee, but wasn't taken into custody because he wasn't driving at the time.

According to police reports, a blood alcohol test administered more than two hours after the accident showed Hernandez had a blood alcohol level of .169. Police reports say another Breathalyzer test showed a .192 blood alcohol level, but that Hernandez was having difficulty providing a sufficient breath sample.

Hernandez could face one to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Feb. 27.

paige-fieldsted
-- Paige Fieldsted covers robberies, burglaries, murders and any other crimes and court cases happening in Utah County. You can connect with Paige by email at pfieldsted@heraldextra.com or by

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