Nursing Blogs

Doctor Arrested for Hit-and-Run That Killed Nurse

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On February 10, Juliana Ramos, a 27-year-old nurse and mother of three, pulled over to help a crash victim on the side of the road near Fresno, CA. The driver of the car was suffering from serious injuries after colliding with a big rig on Highway 99.

That’s when she was struck by another vehicle in what police call a hit-and-run. The authorities say they have finally nabbed the culprit, a 68-year-old cardiologist named James Leonard Comazzi.

An Act of Compassion Turns Deadly

Ramos is remembered as a loving mother and friend.

California Highway Patrol Lt. Austin Matulonis said, “She worked in a nursing home. She was going to nursing school. Her life was taken rendering aid to a person who needed medical help. What an extraordinary woman.”

According to officials, Ramos’ four-month-old baby was waiting in the car while Ramos attended to the injured driver before being struck by an oncoming SUV.

Police say the driver of the red SUV stopped for a minute and got out of the car before getting back in and speeding away, according to surveillance footage of the crime scene.

Ramos’ family waited nearly 8 months to hear from the police as officers searched for the SUV and driver in question.

The Ramos’ urged the public to call Crimestoppers if they had any information about the case. They said they are heartbroken that the other driver didn’t show the same level of compassion as Ramos that tragic night.

“It should be in human nature to stop and help someone, just like it was in her nature,” said Juliana’s sister-in-law Cynthia Ramos. “She could have easily stayed in her car. She went ahead and did what she loved to do, which was serve and help as a nurse.”

There was finally a break in the case when Crimestoppers received an anonymous tip, which led the authorities to Comazzi. The caller also told the police where they might find the missing SUV.

Officers then cross-referenced the tipster’s information with surveillance video from the crash area.

Comazzi is now being charged with felony hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter. He was arrested at his home in Sonora on Monday and booked in prison in Fresno County. He posted bond on Tuesday. It’s still not clear whether he has retained an attorney.

Records show Comazzi is a doctor at an Adventist Health hospital in Sonoma, CA.

Now that the culprit has been arrested, Cynthia Ramos says, “It’s a bittersweet day.”

The Ramos family later visited the victim’s gravesite in Reedley. They say they are grateful for the arrest but it’s not the same without Juliana.

“It just sucks he is caught but nothing is going to bring her back,” said Claudia Sanchez, the victim’s sister.

“She went out there and risked her life, you know, and we will always remember her that way,” Cynthia added during a recent press conference.

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