People within the community in Long Beach were devastated when a gentle member of their community, Jessica Bingaman, 41, was killed earlier this month. Bingaman, who ran a dog walking business, was returning from a local dog park with six dogs in her SUV when her vehicle was broadsided by a recent parolee driving a stolen van. Bingaman and five of the dogs in her charge died in the crash.
ABC News reported that police have arrested Javier Olivarez, 43 who had been allegedly been driving a stolen van and refused to stop. It was during a police chase that the horrific fatal accident occurred. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office said in a statement that Olivarez has been charged with nine felony counts including vehicular manslaughter, fleeing a police officer, other related charges. Olivarez is also facing six counts of animal cruelty.
Bond has been requested at $380,000. If convicted, Olivarez could be facing as many as 38 years in prison.
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Neighbor Denise Thomson told ABC that Jessica will be missed. “She loved her daughter with all her heart, and she loved the dogs that she took care of.” Other friends added that Jessica Bingaman was a devoted, loving mother to her daughter and she truly loved the dogs that she cared for. Members of the community in Long Beach have shown their love and support for Bingaman’s 10-year-old daughter, Reagan, and her family by holding a candlelight vigil at the intersection where the crash occurred. The vigil was attended by many friends, family, and dog lovers in Long Beach and the surrounding community.
Friends and neighbors have also started a Go Fund Me page for Reagan to go to college and to help the family with funeral expenses.