Driver Accused in Meriden Hit-and-Run that Killed Mother Is Arrested

A man accused of hitting and killing a mother and injuring her 7-year-old daughter in Meriden in October, then fleeing from the scene, has turned himself in to police.

Alex Checa, 21, of Meriden, turned himself in to Meriden police on Wednesday on an active warrant for his arrest.

Checa has been arrested in connection with the hit-and-run just after 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 7 at the intersection of Springdale and Lewis avenues that killed 40-year-old Dania Cedeno-Delrosario, of Meriden, and injured her daughter.

Officers who responded to the scene found Cedeno-Delrosario suffering from life-threatening injuries. She died at Hartford Hospital at 10:49 p.m. and police records say she suffered a traumatic brain injury.

Police said Cedeno-Delrosario and her 7-year-old daughter, Denisse, were trying to cross Springdale Avenue when they were hit and the mother pushed her daughter out of the way a split second before the car hit them.

Denisse has been released from the hospital and is doing well.

One piece of evidence police found at the scene was a side mirror from the vehicle and investigators determined it belonged to a 2005 Nissan Altima, but it did not lead them directly to the car because hundreds of similar models are registered in the state.  

A month into the investigation, police said a tip from an anonymous NBC Connecticut viewer led them to Checa, who finally turned himself in to authorities.

Checa's family lives in Meriden and told NBC Connecticut that they were heartbroken about the case and were shocked to learn that Checa might be involved.

"Upsetting tragedy, but my nephew didn’t do it on purpose. It was on accident and we feel very sorry for the loss of the family," Martha Plaza, Checa's aunt, said. "My newphew is real sorry too."

Court records state the car Checa was driving belongs to his girlfriend. The vehicle is in Patterson, New Jersey and due to be will be transported to Meriden on Thursday. 

When Checa went to police, he told them he had noticed a scrap metal truck drive by him on Lewis Avenue that night, then a woman's head hit his windshield, according to the arrest report. However, he told his friend that someone hit his car and left.

Checa went on to tell police that he did not come forward because he was scared and did not know what to do and admitted to replacing the side mirror and having the windshield replaced, according to police.

Checa, whose license was suspended in May 2014, has been charged with evading responsibility, causing the death of a person, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and operating a motor vehicle with a suspended license.

He is due back in court on Dec. 15.

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