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Woman Killed, Man Injured In Huntington Beach Hit-And-Run; Suspect Arrested

HUNTINGTON BEACH (CBSLA) — A Hemet elementary school teacher was killed and her husband was seriously injured in a Sunday night hit-and-run crash in Huntington Beach.

Deanna Stuve
Deanna Stuve, 48, was killed Sunday in a hit-and-run crash in Huntington Beach. (Source: Hemet USD)

"I just really hope that he pulls through," Stacy Belthous, a neighbor, said. "The news is going to be devastating for him."

The couple, identified as 48-year-old DeAnna Stuve and 50-year-old Frederick "Rick" Stuve of Hemet, were crossing Pacific Coast Highway at Newland Street at about 8 p.m. when police said a driver ran a red light and struck them in the crosswalk.

Cell phone video shows the suspected driver, identified by police as 26-year-old Chillandra Bell, and a passenger get out of their vehicle and jump into a white getaway car.

"Utilizing that information, we were able to locate a residence within Huntington Beach that had an affiliation to that getaway vehicle, and officers were able to surveil that location and ultimately arrest Bell."

One Killed, One Hurt In Huntington Beach Hit-And-Run; Woman Arrested
A mug shot of Chillandra Bell, who was arrested in a hit-and-run crash which killed one person and injured another in Huntington Beach, Calif., on July 25, 2021. (Huntington Beach Police Department)

Bell was arrested on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run resulting in death.

People staying at the RV park nearby said the victims were spending time at the beach with their two daughters.

"They were a beautiful team, created a beautiful life together," Sarah Lindsey, Rick's cousin, said. "And it's just such a tragedy to have it cut short like this."

Lindsey said DeAnna was a mother "through and through," and took that love and compassion into the classroom with her.

"I was told that she has a daughter that might have witnessed this, a teenage daughter," Patti Chess, a Las Vegas resident, said. "I can't imagine the nightmare that this daughter's going to have all her life, the trauma. It breaks my heart."

Belthous, who lives next door to the Stuves was unaware of the terrible crash.

"Just super, super good people and they were just getting ready right now to move to Utah, which we were kind of sad about because, you know, they're our neighbors and we don't know if we'll get good neighbors again," she said.

Officials with Hemet Unified School District, where Deanna taught fourth grade at Cawston Elementary School, said she was a great teacher who would be missed.

The PCH was closed for several hours following the crash, but has since reopened. Investigators will determine whether drugs or alcohol played a role in the fatal crash. Authorities said they were still searching for the getaway driver.

A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family cover funeral and medical expenses.

"I'm hoping and praying that anybody that can and feels so moved will be able to donate to help with DeAnna's funeral expenses and Rick's ongoing medical costs at this point," Lindsey said.

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