Authorities say hit-and-run suspect was driving on a suspended license

By Sun-Star staffSeptember 25, 2013 

The man accused of leaving the scene after striking a 51-year-old woman with his vehicle was allegedly driving on a suspended license at the time of the crash, according to charges filed Monday in Merced Superior Court.

The Merced County District Attorney’s Office filed a felony hit-and-run charge against Jessie Medrano, along with a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license from an earlier drunken driving conviction, according to Rob Carroll, chief deputy district attorney.

Medrano, 32, was arrested Sunday, a week after the Sept.15 crash that killed Ivy Spratling of Merced.

The date of Medrano’s drunken-driving conviction was not available Tuesday.

Merced police sought a voluntary manslaughter charge against Medrano, but prosecutors declined to file one.

“There’s not enough evidence to charge manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt,” Carroll said Tuesday.

Carroll declined to comment on whether investigators believe the initial vehicle-versus-pedestrian crash was the fault of Medrano or Spratling.

Authorities said Spratling was walking on Yosemite Park Way near the Bradley overpass when she was struck by a dark-colored newer Honda sedan, which was heading west from the Bradley overpass exitat the time of the crash. Immediately after the collision, police said, the driver got out of his car and looked at Spratling’s body lying in the roadway, then drove away.

Police haven’t said exactly where Spratling was when she was struck.

Investigators found Medrano’s black 2013 Honda Accord on Thursday in the 3400 block of De Anza Court. It was hidden beneath a vehicle cover. Officers obtained an arrest warrant for Medrano that day.

Medrano surrendered to police Sunday, but refused to answer investigators’ questions, officers said.

He remains free on a $70,000 bail bond.

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