Almost five months after the incident, a Los Angeles couple has been arrested and charged in court for hitting David Pregerson in Pacific Palisades with their car and then fleeing the scene without offering the injured 23-year-old any help. If convicted, Marguerite Dao Vuong, 66, who prosecutors say was behind the wheel, can face up to four years in state prison. Her husband, Michael Vuong, 66, charged with being an accessory, may also face up to three years in county jail.
David Pregerson, son of U.S. District Judge Dean Pregerson, had recently graduated from UCLA. He was an aspiring filmmaker. He was working on movies and television shows, including “The Bay” – a web-based soap opera series.
Diane Elder, whose son was good friends with David recalls, “he was like a ray of sunshine when he’d walk in the door. He had a big smile, lots of energy, lots of friends, very popular, very well liked kid” reported ABC7. According to her, four years in prison for Marguerite and three years for Michael was too little punishment for the death of a young man whose life was just beginning.
The fatal accident took place when David was walking along Chautauqua Boulevard north of Borgos Place on December 27. Although he was rushed to UCLA Medical Center shortly after being hit, he succumbed to his injuries and died four days later on December 31. Because investigators were running out of leads, David’s family had pleaded the driver to come forward, and had announced two rewards totaling $100,000. The award announcement helped the Los Angeles police officials in their efforts to nab the accused. At the time of announcing the reward, the victim’s father had called on the driver to surrender saying he and his wife were “not looking for blood.”
Defense attorney Anthony Salerno said, “Anyway this comes out, this is a tremendous tragedy for the Pregerson family, and everyone is mindful of that. But there is a legal process that has to play out and we’re going to try to have it play out in the most respectful way to make sure that it’s fair.”
The Vuongs will be back in court on July 11, when a date will be scheduled for a hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to require them to stand trial.
Elder said, “She kills a boy, goes home, comes back and goes to work the next day, like nothing happened? I don’t get it,” she said. “I don’t get it, how people can live like this. I don’t get how they can live with themselves, really.”
Prosecutors have made no comments yet.
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Image Credit: LA Times
This news sourced from ABC7 here.