Trial date set for man in downtown Walla Walla hit-and-run

David Marquez is accused of badly injuring a pedestrian and leaving the scene last month.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man accused of driving into a pedestrian near Second Avenue and Tietan Street last month is scheduled for trial June 29 in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

David Marquez, 19, of 1115 W. Pine St., pleaded innocent Monday to charges of vehicular assault and hit-and-run -- injury.

Officials said Marquez was driving a Toyota Celica when he struck Johana Castillo in the 1400 block of South Second at about 2:20 a.m. March 21. Castillo reportedly suffered serious injuries when she was thrown over the vehicle and landed on her head.

Marquez allegedly drove away, but was stopped by a patrol officer at Division and Washington streets and later was arrested.

Police said apparently an altercation had occurred earlier in the area near Second and Tietan. Marquez told officials "he had received a call from a friend of his saying there was going to be a fight and wanted his help," according to a police report filed in court.

Marquez added there were about 10-14 people in the area when he and two friends arrived in the vehicle. He claims a "male subject came up to his vehicle and hit his window hard enough with his fist that the window almost broke," the police report says. Then, according to Marquez, a woman took a stance in front of his vehicle as if she wanted to fight. He told officers he didn't have time to stop, ran into the woman at a speed of about 25 mph and left because he was afraid.

Castillo, of North Wilbur Avenue, was taken to Providence St. Mary Medical Center for treatment. Police said Marquez smelled of alcohol, so blood was drawn from him at the hospital for testing.

Marquez has been released from jail on bail pending the outcome of his case.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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