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Arrest made in 2017 hit-and-run that killed Navy veteran

Record - 10/5/2018

Oct. 05--STOCKTON -- Authorities have arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with a 2017 hit-and-run crash that killed a disabled Navy veteran.

Ronald Roger Wright Jr., 19, was arrested on Sept. 20 by officers from another law enforcement agency, said Officer Joseph Silva, a spokesman for the Stockton Police Department.

Wright is charged with felony hit-and-run resulting in death or injury and felony vehicle manslaughter with gross negligence, according to court records.

On Nov. 21, David Allen Wright (no relation) was riding a bicycle and crossing East Hammer Lane southbound at Lan Ark Drive about 6:15 p.m. when he was hit by a black vehicle that sped away to the east, according to an earlier report from Stockton police. Medics were called, but David Wright suffered major injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The driver of the vehicle did not stop after hitting David Wright and sped away immediately after the collision, according to police.

Ronald Wright, who has already appeared in San Joaquin Superior Court, will have his next appearance on Oct. 17. He is being held at the San Joaquin County Jail with his bail set at $500,000.

Tina Thayer, who described herself as the victim's best friend and former common-law wife, previously told The Record that David Wright was a father of three children.

She said Wright's disability was service-related during his time in the U.S. Navy.

Wright, who was an experienced bicyclist, was always helping people, she said. The day he was killed he was on his way home carrying some pies and fruit with him for Thanksgiving dinner.

"He was a great man who helped everybody," she said. "He loved God. He was a Christian man."

Contact reporter Almendra Carpizo at (209) 546-8264 or acarpizo@recordnet.com. Follow her on Twitter @AlmendraCarpizo.

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(c)2018 The Record (Stockton, Calif.)

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