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Atwater man arrested in fatal hit-and-run crash with pedestrian

James Thomas Boykin
James Thomas Boykin Merced County Sheriff’s Department

A 29-year-old man was arrested Thursday in a vehicle vs. pedestrian hit-and-run crash that killed a 47-year-old Atwater woman, according to the California Highway Patrol.

James Boykin of Atwater was taken into custody in connection with the crash that killed Gloria Wescott around 1 a.m. Wednesday.

CHP said the arrest came after a tip received from a “good Samaritan,” which led investigators to the location of the suspect’s vehicle. According to authorities, Boykin admitted colliding with the pedestrian after being questioned by officers. CHP spokesman Moises Onsurez said initially the suspect was not forthcoming with officers and never explained why he left the scene of the crash.

Boykin was booked into the Merced County Jail on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. He’s being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

On the morning of the crash, officers responded to the scene on Santa Fe Drive near Business Parkway and found Wescott lying in the median. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Both eastbound lanes of Santa Fe Drive and one westbound lane were closed for about two hours Wednesday morning.

CHP is asking anyone with additional information about the crash to call Officer Brian Carr at (209) 356-2969. Tips are kept confidential and you can remain anonymous.