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Family of Dallas Teen Killed in Pedestrian Accident Seeks Justice


Posted on Feb 06, 2012

Nearly a month ago, Dallas teen Riley Rawlins was hit and killed by another Dallas teen, Soraya Villanueva, when he was crossing a road. Villanueva has now been charged with criminally negligent homicide, weeks after the tragic crash.

The Rawlins family has been trying to get officers to arrest Villanueva for weeks and charge her with a crime. Dallas Police had not arrested Villanueva until recently because they were continuing to interview witnesses.

At the time of the accident, Rawlins was crossing Royal Lane near Lake Highlands High School where he was in his junior year. Police believe that 18-year-old Villanueva was traveling at 70mph in a 35mph zone when she struck Rawlins. He was dragged 400 feet before Villanueva finally stopped.

Villanueva admitted to police that she was trying to beat a yellow light when she hit Rawlins. She also admitted that she was speeding and was driving without a license and insurance.

The Rawlins family has started an online petition to be sent to the Dallas District Attorney’s Office, asking the DA to send the case to trial rather than allow Villanueva to negotiate a plea deal with probation. If convicted at trial, Villanueva could face a maximum of two years in prison.

Rawlin’s tragic death is a reminder that drivers need to slow down and obey posted speed limits. Texas ranked third in the nation for the most pedestrian traffic fatalities in 2009.

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