Man arrested in connection with a hit & run: police

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Toronto police say a man has been arrested in connection with a hit and run that killed a 39-year-old mother of three last year. The incident dates back to May 31, 2015. Police received a call about a hit-and-run collision on Bloor Street West just west of Dovercourt Road at about 9 p.m. The victim, identified as Nelisa Damota, was struck by a white Mercedes after she got out of her car to stop at the bank.

Damota was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital where she later died from her injuries.

Last June, Toronto police identified two male suspects wanted in connection with the incident.

On Thursday, Deriba Wakene turned himself in authorities and was charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident causing death.

He appeared in an Old City Hall courtroom on Thursday and is expected to appear again for a bail hearing on Friday.

Police say the second man is no longer a suspect in the case.

“These types of investigations, in some cases, do take a long time,” Toronto police Const. Clint Stibbe told CTV Toronto. “The only two types of death investigations are traffic fatalities and homicides and they’re treated with the same type of meticulous, relentless investigation.”

The victim’s husband, Helio Batista, told CTV Toronto that the news of the arrest was “bittersweet.”

“I woke up this morning, I was a little sad because it’s her birthday today, but then I got the news that they had arrested somebody,” he said.

Batista said he visits the scene of the accident once a week and leaves flowers nearby in her memory. “It makes me feel a little better even though it’s not going to bring her back. Nothing will ever bring her back.”

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