HARTFORD --A woman is dead, and another is in critical condition after a hit-and-run in Hartford.
Just before 10 p.m. Tuesday, police rushed to Vine Street on the report of two people struck. When they arrived, they found the women suffering from serious injuries.
They were taken to Saint Francis Hospital for treatment. Tina Fontanez, 24, of Hartford, died from her injuries around 10:20 p.m. The second victim, 23-year-old Catalina Melendez, remains in critical condition at St. Francis Hospital.
The two women, who just left a cab, were in the travel lanes of Vine Street when they were struck.
Officers found the abandoned Acura near the crash, at the intersection of Bethel and Guilford, with damage and evidence consistent of being involved in a crash.
A short time later, police said Lorenzo Ivery, 25, of Hartford came to police headquarters to report a car stolen, and had auto glass on his hair and clothes. Based on physical evidence and video surveillance, detectives concluded that Ivery was a passenger in the car that struck the women.
He was initially charged with making false statements and hindering a prosecution, with bond set at $30,000. His charges were then upgraded to felony evading responsibility with death and making false statements. His bond was raised to $155,000.
The victims' aunt said her nieces were inseparable, always hanging out together.
"They just went out roller skating, came back and had a good time" said Viryen Raynor. "They just wanted to get back in the house."
Raynor is now pleading for justice.
"The family is suffering," she said. "We need closure, we need closure. We didn't ask for this."
Ivery is due back in court on February 14.