Woman, 68, charged in hit-and-run death of Holocaust survivor

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By Phil Helsel  with NBC News U.S. News
Image: Gennady Bolotsky
Gennady Bolotsky was killed in a hit and run while walking his dog in Los Angeles on June 17.   -   Copyright  Courtesy Bolotsky Family

A 68-year-old woman has been charged in the hit-and-run crash that killed a Holocaust survivor last month in California.

Joyce Bernann McKinney, who the Los Angeles Police Department said is a transient, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, hit-and-run driving resulting in death and vehicular manslaughter in the June 17 death of Gennady Bolotsky in Valley Village, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said Wednesday in a statement.

Bolotsky, 91, escaped the Nazi occupation and came to the United States from Ukraine, NBC Los Angeles reported.

He was a widower who was walking his dog in a marked crosswalk around 5:40 a.m. when he was struck by the 2006 white GMC truck that police said McKinney was driving. McKinney did not stop and render aid as required by law, according to the station and the LAPD.

Police said that McKinney was arrested June 21 on unrelated warrants for battery and public nuisance after someone called police and said a vehicle matching the description was parked near the Burbank Airport.

Courtesy Bolotsky Family
Gennady Bolotsky was killed in a hit and run while walking his dog in Los Angeles on June 17.Courtesy Bolotsky Family

Investigators presented the hit-and-run case to the district attorney Monday, police said. The LAPD said that McKinney is thought to be living out of the truck.

Bolotsky's son, Michael Bolotsky, said in June that his father "was supposed to live to 100 or more. At 91, he had more energy than a person half his life, "KABC-TV reported at the time.

Adriana Bolotsky, Bolotsky's granddaughter, told reporters then that the family was angry and devastated."We wish you had a human soul to stop and call, and not leave him lying on the ground," she said.

The woman said her grandfather "came [to the U.S.] and survived literally everything."

McKinney remains in custody, and her bail amounts to $137,500, police said Wednesday. Prosecutors said that if she is convicted as charged, she faces a maximum possible sentence of 11 years in state prison.