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No charges in fatal Interstate 5 freeway crash

Posted: May 29, 2013 1:32 p.m.
Updated: May 29, 2013 1:32 p.m.

A Pasadena man charged in March with felony drunken driving after a fatal traffic collision on Interstate 5 will not be prosecuted, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said this week.

Joseph R. Olivera was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers during the early morning hours of March 2 and booked at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Within a couple of hours, the 49-year-old food server posted bail and was released from custody.

Prosecutors said Tuesday they will not be proceeding with any charges against Olivera due to lack of evidence, said District Attorney spokeswoman Jane Robison.

The victim, Timothy Hannum Hartwig, who at one time lived in Wofford Heights near Lake Isabella, was struck and killed about 1 a.m. March 2. He would have turned 54 last month.

Hartwig, described by CHP investigators as a homeless man, was walking on the freeway in the southbound lanes just north of the Rye Canyon Road industrial complex when he was hit, a CHP officer said at the time.

The driver of a 2003 Toyota Tacoma, later identified as Olivera, was traveling south on Interstate 5. He reported an impact on the front of his vehicle, according to Investigator K. Schilhabel of the California Highway Patrol.

The driver pulled over and dialed 911, reporting that he believed he had hit an animal, the officer said at the time of the crash. Olivera was later arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

The pedestrian was struck by the SUV’s left front bumper, hood and windshield, Schilhabel wrote in the report.

“He was run over by other unidentified vehicles, which did not remain on scene,” Schilhabel reported.
on Twitter @jamesarthurholt




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