Prosecutors say driver who killed Seattle woman at crosswalk was under the influence
SEATTLE -- A judge found probable cause Monday to proceed with the criminal charges against a woman accused of killing a pedestrian in Green Lake.
Treza Hafzalla appeared in front of a judge on Monday. Police say she admitted to running over a woman at the crosswalk on N 82nd and Wallingford Avenue Sunday night. Instead of calling 911 for help, police say, Hafzalla drove away in a SUV.
People who live along Wallingford Avenue aren’t sure if the woman who lost her life at this crosswalk is a neighbor.
“I just felt like it would be nice to pay some respect if it was me and I would have like it if people cared, too,” Green Lake resident Jason Aristides said.
That’s why Aristides placed a single flower on the crosswalk to honor the victim's life.
As neighbors wait for the victim’s identity, the driver accused of killing her appeared in court on Monday.
Police say Hafzalla admitted to consuming alcohol an hour before she hit the woman crossing the street. But she told police it was just one drink
The prosecutor told the judge that Hafzalla smelled of alcohol and that she refused to take a field sobriety test.
Court documents say Hafzalla ran over the victim at the Green Lake crosswalk and came out of the her SUV to check on the victim. Witnesses say the defendant then got back into her vehicle and fled the scene.
Police say Hafzalla came back to the scene about 40 minutes later, admitting to the running over the woman and driving away. She told investigators she was distressed and that another person pressured her to leave the scene. But police say she couldn’t name the person pressuring her. At one point she even told police the victim lunged at her with an orange construction fencing but police say there was no evidence to back up that story.
Court documents also say Hafzalla walked back to the scene to confess after her boyfriend encouraged her to come forward.
In court on Monday, family members and co-workers came to court to defend Hafzalla, asking the judge for a reasonable bail. Hafzalla’s uncle told the judge that she was a sweet young lady who was a manager at her job.
They also acknowledged the victim in the tragedy saying they didn’t want to hurt anyone.
Although Hafzalla is accused of being under the influence, some neighbors say the intersection is a busy street needing safety upgrades.
“Maybe something as basic as putting in another street light,” Green Lake resident Kevin Sheets said.
“People drive by this road like it’s a busy street but really it’s by a school and it’s in a neighborhood,” Green Lake resident Amanda Shortell said.
As neighbors urge people to drive slower in that area in front of Bishop Blanchet High School.
Hafzalla could be getting ready to post bail.
The judge set a $200,000 bail, which was a lot less than what prosecutors were seeking. Prosecutors pointed out that Hafzalla has a previous DUI charge in 2012.
She is now facing vehicular homicide and felony hit and run.
Prosecutors have until Thursday to formally file charges.