Hit-And-Run Suspect Arrested In Desert Hot Springs

Anonymous Tip Leads Authorities To Car And Suspect

DESERT HOT SPRINGS - A 50-year-old man suspected in a hit-and-run crash that killed a pedestrian was being held on $25,000 bail, police reported today.

Ronald Andrew Nelson of Desert Hot Springs was taken into custody just before 8 p.m. Friday following a tip from an anonymous caller, said Sgt. Dan Bressler of the Desert Hot Springs Police Department.

The caller told police that a blue 1991 Ford Explorer involved in the crash was parked at a home in the 66100 block of Fourth Street. Police went to the residence, spoke to Nelson and took him into custody without incident, the sergeant said.

Nelson told police he panicked and drove off because he was uninsured and his driver's license was suspended, Bressler said.

Roger Mason Pace, 49, was struck about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday on Palm Drive south of Hacienda Avenue. He died two days later at a hospital, Bressler said.

Pace was crossing Palm Drive outside a crosswalk "in an extremely unsafe place for a pedestrian to be" when he was hit, which might make him at least partially at fault in the accident, according to the sergeant.

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