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Friend of woman killed is angry that hit-and-run suspect free to await trial

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - The man accused of driving off after a deadly crash last month -- then trying to cover up his involvement -- appeared in court on Monday.

Samuel Lovellette is charged with leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and obstruction of justice.

Court documents allege that he was at the wheel of a vehicle that struck and killed 21-year-old Keilan Moreira as she was crossing East State Blvd. on Aug. 25.

Police found Lovellette's SUV following the later release of surveillance images.

His car, they said, showed signs of damage -- but the hood had been replaced.

Lovellete was able to post bond on Friday and is not being held in jail.

A friend of Moreira told ABC21 that he is furious at how that played out in the courts.

"This man hit my friend. She rolled on his hood, he braked, she rolled off," Alejandro Rodriguez said. "And you know what? He should have just stopped. Obviously he didn't. Instead of just going around her body, he proceeded to run her over, killing her instantly.

"How is someone actively evading authorities allowed to make bail? In order to post bail, you only need to pay 10 percent... that being $1,000 that this person needed to pay to gain his freedom while my friend is 6-feet underground. This is an injustice on top of an injustice."

Lovellette, who has prior traffic incidents including past arrest for driving under the influence, is due back in court Nov. 8.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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