A Riverview man already out on bail on a previous charge involving a fatal crash was arrested again last week after Hillsborough County deputies say he initiated another crash that left another hospitalized.
Jaime Castellano Jr. was driving westbound on Symmes Road on the evening of June 6 when he allegedly struck Darwin Lopez-Mendez as he was crossing the street on his bicycle. Upon striking Lopez-Mendez, witnesses say Castellano did not stay to survey the damage, opting instead to flee the scene. A witness pursued Castellano to a nearby trailer park, relaying to police his whereabouts until they arrested him a short while later.
Lopez-Mendez, who is 18, was taken to Tampa General Hospital shortly after the incident. At last report, his condition was listed as serious.
The 27-year-old Castellano was free on bail at the time of his alleged accident last week. The Michigan native was charged with driving without a valid drivers license causing death in 2016 when authorities say he caused a one-car accident that year.
Per investigators, Castellano was driving a Nissan Altima rented by Helemah Elayyan when it allegedly struck a palm tree at 60 m.p.h. Investigators say Castellano told them he was not at the helm of the vehicle in the 35 m.p.h. zone, but they challenged his assertion by pointing out injuries they say could only be sustained when in the driver’s seat.
Though injured, Castellano survived. However the 35-year-old Elayyan was not so fortunate, as the injuries she sustained were mortal.
Castellano was returned to the Hillsborough County Jail on June 8 and booked in on charges of driving without a valid license and causing death or serious injury, delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance, two counts of delivery of a controlled substance, and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. He is currently being held without bail.
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