Driver accused of killing Oklahoma City woman

BY LEIGHANNE MANWARREN lmanwarren@opubco.com Modified: August 23, 2012 at 11:51 pm •  Published: August 23, 2012
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Police arrested a man Thursday night accused of striking and killing a woman with a car as she crossed the road in southwest Oklahoma City, police said.

Rusti Bates, 27, of Oklahoma City, was killed about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday crossing SW 29 at Lee Avenue. She was hit by a car going west on SW 29, police said.

Salvador Lopez, 30, was arrested based on a tip received by officers and was booked into the Oklahoma County jail Thursday night on complaints of leaving the scene of a fatal collision, having no driver's license and transporting an open container of alcohol, Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said. The location of the arrest was not available Thursday.

Bates was the mother of three and a waitress at Beverly's Pancake House. Beverly's owner Renee Masoudy said Bates was a very friendly and happy person who was always smiling.

“We are so sad; she was a sweetheart,” Masoudy said. “We are going to miss her very much.”

Masoudy said Bates' children lived with other family members, but that Bates would talk about her children all the time and worked hard to overcome her troubled past.

“I think she had a bad past; I always give people a second chance, so she thanked me constantly for giving her a chance and said she couldn't get a job at any other places,” Masoudy said. “She was hoping one day that she could take care of her kids herself and she was working hard toward it.”

The car has been recovered and taken into police custody, Wardlow said.

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