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Man charged in fatal Bay View hit-and-run on Christmas Eve

Posted at 11:07 PM, Jan 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-06 00:30:58-05

MILWAUKEE-- Milwaukee police filed charges against a driver that hit and killed a woman walking her dogs in Bay View on Christmas Eve.

Manuel Salazar-Gutierrez is facing charges of second degree reckless homicide and hit-and-run resulting in death. Police are still attempting to locate Salazar-Gutierrez. A warrant has been issued for his arrest, according to online court records.

Police said that on the night of Christmas Eve, Gutierrez was speeding down Howell Avenue near Dover when he struck and killed Jamie Hanson, known as James, as she was walking her two dogs on the sidewalk. One of those dogs died during the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, surveillance cameras in the area show Gutierrez’s Jeep SUV as “it travels on the sidewalk for approximately 100 feet." The length of two houses in the area.

The complaint said that Gutierrez knocked over a light pole in the process, leaving the scene without stopping or slowing down.

Additionally, the complaint revealed that investigators utilized video from Milwaukee County Transit System buses to help identify Salazar-Gutierrez and his vehicle.

According to the court document, investigators “spoke to a man who identified himself as an employer of the defendant,” saying that they went to a liquor store that night where Gutierrez “bought tequila” before he “drove away alone” in his vehicle.

The complaint also describes that someone saw Gutierrez near the intersection of Howell and Lincoln minutes before the crash. Witnesses reportedly saw Gutierrez adjust a ladder on top of his Jeep, before speeding off on the wrong side of the road.

Court records say that when police found the Jeep, it "had damage consistent with the accident, and vehicle parts recovered at the crash scene matched missing parts of the Jeep." Investigators also discovered "six fingerprints that matched the defendant," outside of the vehicle.

Friends of Hanson at the Milwaukee Brat House remain heartbroken.

“You really just want things to come to justice,” Imhoff said.

“She’d be the one to ask you if you were okay before you had a chance to complain about anything,” Imhoff said.

For Imhoff, one thing remains clear, the driver could have made better decisions.

“It’s just a little bit of restraint and a little bit of self-control, James would still be here,” Imhoff said.

Gutierrez is described as 6'1" and 250 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He has several tattoos including one that reads "Zacateca" across his abdomen.

If you have any information regarding the incident, or Gutierrez's whereabouts, call police or click here to submit an anonymous tip to investigators.