Jury convicts Melissa Brewer for felony hit and run injuring a motorcyclist and insurance fraud
Author: District Attorney
3/17/2023 4:15:02 PM
District Attorney Dan Dow announced today that on Thursday, March 16, 2023, a San Luis Obispo County Jury convicted 46-year-old Melissa Roseanne Brewer, of San Miguel, for felony hit and run causing injury to a motorcyclist. Brewer was also convicted of four felony counts of insurance fraud and one misdemeanor count of reckless driving.
Evidence presented during the seven-day jury trial proved that, on March 23, 2021, someone drove a white Hyundai Veloster recklessly from southbound Highway 1 at Highland Drive to southbound Highway 101 Avila Beach Drive, where it struck a motorcyclist who was merging onto the highway. The collision sent the motorcyclist down onto the highway pavement with a badly broken ankle. Many people stopped to help the motorcyclist and called 911 for help but the Veloster sped away.
On March 28, 2021, Melissa Brewer filed a claim with her insurance company, indicating her white Hyundai Veloster had been in a single-vehicle, no passenger, no injury collision in which she drove off the road and into a guardrail. On April 4, 2021, she also claimed to her insurance company that she was receiving medical attention related to the collision.
The California Highway Patrol conducted a thorough search of Velosters registered in San Luis Obispo County and located Melissa Brewer’s Veloster in a repair shop with damage. The CHP’s Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team (MAIT) determined the Veloster’s damage was consistent with a multiple vehicle collision, not a guardrail, and concluded the specific damage to the Veloster was caused by a collision with the motorcycle. Ms. Brewer was determined to be the driver of the Veloster based on vehicle records, cell phone data, eyewitness information about the driver of the Veloster, and her insurance claims.
“Even when someone does everything they can to avoid arrest and prosecution, our local law enforcement agencies go to great lengths to hold offenders accountable for their crimes,” said District Attorney Dan Dow. “I am proud of the outstanding investigative work of the California Highway Patrol, our DA Bureau of Investigations, and each of the good Samaritans in our community who assisted in solving this case.”
The case is scheduled for sentencing on April 14, 2023 in Department 5 of the Superior Court. The maximum possible sentence for these charges is 6 years and 8 months in prison.
The case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol, Coastal Division, with the assistance of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Crystal Seiler who is assigned to the District Attorney’s General Felony Trial Team.
A copy of the charging document can be found here, and a copy of the defendant’s booking photo can be found here.
Please contact Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran at 805.781.5811 with any questions.
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