Arrest made in Carmichael hit and run

8:14 PM, Jul 19, 2012   |    comments
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  • Harison Randall (left) and Gemily West (right) with their four dogs.
  • Paul William Walden arrested in connection with Carmichael hit and run.

CARMICHAEL, CA - California Highway Patrol officers arrested a North Highlands man Thursday morning in connection with a a hit-and-run collision that seriously injured two people and killed four dogs in Carmichael.

STORY: 2 People hurt, 4 dogs killed in Carmichael hit  and run

CHP spokeswoman Officer Lizz Dutton said officers made a traffic stop of a 1987 Nissan Maxima at Bainbridge Drive in North Highlands around 1:22 a.m. on Thursday.

The driver was identified as Paul William Walden, 31, of North Highlands. While speaking with Walden, officers noticed his vehicle matched the description of the car believed to be involved in the hit-and-run.

The officers also saw damage consistent with the crash - the daytime running light and left turn signal were missing and also the driver's side mirror, said Officer Todd VanLindt.

Investigators were able to identify a suspect vehicle because damaged pieces of the car were left at the crash scene.

According to Dutton, Walden was arrested at the scene for driving under the influence of drugs and taken in for further questioning.

During the  interview with CHP investigators, Walden admitted that he was the driver of the car that struck Harison Randall, 21, of Grass Valley; Gemily West, 23, of Carmichael, and their four dogs on Monday night at the intersection of Garfield Avenue and Engle Road, Dutton said.

Walden was leaving his family's home in the 7300 block of Salazar Drive when he was arrested.

A CHP officer was at the home Thursday afternoon to interview Walden's family.

Walden's sister, who did not want to be identified, said her brother told their mother he thought he hit a garbage can. She said the vehicle appeared to have "minimal damage."

According to Walden's sister, her family saw the news story about the hit-and-run crash but never connected the incident to Walden. She said they didn't know he was a suspect until he was arrested.

When the sister was asked about his behavior the last few days, she said, "He's been very nice."

Walden was booked into Sacramento County Jail on two counts of felony hit and run, four counts of felony animal cruelty, misdemeanor driving under the influence, and driving on a suspended driver's license.

Kristen Drew contributed to this report.


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