Salt Lake County Jail
Sotero Valerio Torres

SALT LAKE CITY — A Salt Lake man was charged Friday with hitting and killing a bicyclist, then driving off.

Sotero Valerio Torres, 36, is charged in 3rd District Court with leaving the scene of an accident involving death, a third-degree felony; obstructing justice, a class A misdemeanor; driving on a suspended license and not having insurance, class C misdemeanors.

On Jan. 22, Tot Van Nguyen, 72, was crossing 400 South at 1033 West on a bicycle when he was struck by an eastbound vehicle. The car continued without stopping, and Nguyen later died at a local hospital, according to charging documents.

Salt Lake police searching the area found the vehicle parked behind a residence in an alley. "The rear license plate was removed from the vehicle and placed on the front driver's seat," according to charging documents.

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The home belonged to a relative of Torres. He told her he had been involved in a crash, the charges state.

When questioned by police, Torres admitted seeing the reflectors on the bicycle and knew that he had hit someone, according to the charging documents.

Torres told officers he "left the scene because he was scared," according to a police affidavit.

He was driving on a suspended license and had no insurance at the time of the crash, the charges state.

Torres has no criminal history in Utah outside of traffic citations, according to state court records.