Trial date set in hit-and-run wreck

Police say Rozas Alaniz Jr. fled the scene of a crash just off downtown earlier this month.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man who allegedly caused a vehicle crash in the city earlier this month and then ran from the scene pleaded innocent Monday afternoon in Superior Court to two criminal charges.

Rozas Alaniz Jr., 20, of 524 E. Cherry St., is set for trial Dec. 8 and 9 on the charges of hit and run -- injury, which is a felony, and first-degree driving while license suspended or revoked, a gross misdemeanor.

Police said Alaniz was driving a vehicle east on Birch Street at First Avenue about 11:50 p.m. on Oct. 8 when he failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with another vehicle.

He then allegedly fled on foot, as did his passenger.

Rubio D. Jiminez, 20, who was the other driver, and his passenger, John A. Nibler, also 20, suffered various injuries and were treated at Providence St. Mary Medical Center.

A third victim, Coleman D. Cantrell, 17, later checked into the hospital's ER. He told police he was the passenger in the vehicle from which the driver fled, and that Alaniz was that driver, according to a police report filed in court.

All three victims of the collision were treated and released.

Alaniz was located about 7:50 a.m. on Oct. 9 at a residence in the 600 block of West Poplar Street and arrested.

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

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