Police arrest local woman in fatal hit-and-run

SAN BENITO — After a two-month investigation, police yesterday arrested a Harlingen woman accused in the fatal hit-and-run of a 46-year-old San Benito man.

Ivonne Guajardo, 46, is accused of killing Willie Lee Williams as he walked to work in the 2200 block of West Expressway 83 on July 21.

Guajardo turned herself in to police after Municipal Court Judge Benjamin Yudesis issued a warrant for her arrest, interim Police Chief Fred Bell stated yesterday.

Guajardo, who was being held in the city jail awaiting arraignment, faces a charge of accident involving death, a second-degree felony.

“Now all we got to do is wait to see if justice will be served,” Jasmine Harden, Williams’ cousin, said late yesterday afternoon.

The case will be turned over to the Cameron County District Attorney’s Office for review, Bell stated.

“This arrest comes after many long hours of investigation by the San Benito Police Department, whose officers worked hard to find and follow up on information needed to make an arrest in this case,” Bell stated, adding the Texas Department of Public Safety helped investigate the case.

As they worked the case, investigators tried to review local businesses’ security camera footage to track down a car whose front passenger side was apparently damaged.

Harden said her cousin was walking to his job at Denny’s restaurant when he was killed.

A patrol officer found Williams dead at Interstate 69’s westbound frontage road near Stephanie Lane at about 12:40 a.m. July 21.

“He was a good man. He had family — he had a lot of people who loved him and cherished him,” Harden said after her cousin’s death.

“Willie had a heart of gold. Anyone in need — he tried to help them out,” she said. “He was always in a good mood. He was full of life. He was uplifting, cheerful — even if something was bothering him.”