Monday, January 14, 2013
The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office has upgraded charges against a man who hit several people with the vehicle he was driving after one of them died.
Alvaro Zuniga-Rivas, 22, now stands charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death, according to DCSO officials. He was initially arrested on a charge of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in bodily injury after an incident that allegedly occurred early the morning of Dec. 15.
The current charge is a felony that can carry a penalty of up to 25 years in prison, according to DCSO officials.
According to a DCSO incident report, officers responded to a call at about 2:30 a.m. Dec. 15 at Bryndis Bar on Ashley Phosphate Road. Officers arriving found EMS already on scene treating several people in the parking lot.
According to witnesses, an argument between several individuals in the bar escalated and spilled out into the parking lot. At some point, witnesses say four Hispanic males, who were initially not part of the original altercation, got into a vehicle described as a white van with ladders on it, and left the parking lot, allegedly striking several people in the process. At least three victims were transported to Trident Medical with undisclosed injuries, according to the report.
Later, officers found the vehicle parked at an apartment complex. During the course of the investigation, four individuals were identified as being in the van when it left the bar. Further investigation indicated that neither the driver nor the passengers knew they had hit anyone and that they were just trying to leave the bar.
Zuniga-Rivas is currently housed in the Dorchester County Detention Center and has been placed on a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hold status, according to DCSO officials.
The investigation is ongoing.