Driver question, released in fatal hit-and-run

GRANTS PASS — Police questioned and released a man in connection with a hit-and-run early Thursday on the Grants Pass Parkway that killed 22-year-old Gabriella Licata of Gilbert, Arizona.

Detectives questioned the 33-year-old man for at least three hours on Thursday, after a patrol officer spotted a 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the Redwood district that the officer believed was involved in the collision.

The Department of Public Safety did not immediately release the man's name. Lt. Todd Moran said potential charges will wait until a full investigation is complete.

"People think just because nobody is arrested the case is over. That's the furthest from the truth," Moran said.

Oregon State Police reconstructionists will be at the crash site early this morning, he said. Information from reconstruction can affect what the charges are, Moran said.

Once a full report is finished, District Attorney Ryan Mulkins will decide charges. An autopsy already has been being conducted on Licata.

Licata had arrived in Grants Pass only hours before the 12:43 a.m. crash, according to family in Arizona.

When emergency responders arrived, citizens were attempting life-saving measures, but Licata was unable to be revived.

How far into the road Licata was walking is not clear but could be determined when accident reconstructionists do their work, Moran said.

 Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who has information relative to the investigation, is asked to contact detectives at 541-450-6260.

The department reminds the public that anyone involved in a crash is required to stop, render aid if necessary and exchange information with other involved persons.

Five pedestrians were killed on county roads in 2016, and this is the second in 2017.

Malachi Batty, 15, was hit and killed in March on Redwood Avenue while waiting for a school bus. Christopher Faibish of Central Point is out on bail and faces charges of criminally negligent homicide and heroin possession in that incident. His next court status hearing is Monday.

Of the five pedestrians killed in 2016, two were hit-and-run incidents that remain unsolved.

On Aug. 24, 2016, Luke Leclere, 30, was fatally injured on Redwood Highway near Demaray Drive west of Grants Pass. The driver left the scene. The case is still open.

On Nov. 14, 2016, 91-year-old Max Milton Carter of Cave Junction was hit on Schumacher Street in Cave Junction. That driver also fled the scene and has not been located, although state troopers found the car.

Crime Stoppers of Southern Oregon offered a reward for up to $1,000 for information in that case.

 — Reach reporter Jeff Duewel at 541-474-3720 or

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