Couple arrested after wife falsely claims she was driving during deadly hit-and-run crash, police say

A Surfside couple was arrested Sunday evening after a hit-and-run left a 66-year-old man dead near a Huntington Beach shopping center and the wife of the driver tried to claim responsibility for the crash, police said.

According to the Huntington Beach Police Department, officers responded around 6:40 p.m. Sunday to Pacific Coast Highway and 24th Street where a man was down in the roadway with injuries that indicated he was struck by a vehicle. The man was pronounced dead at the scene but the driver had fled, police said.

Kimberly Burch, 39, and her husband, Daniel Burch, 37, were both arrested after Kimberly Burch returned to the scene and confessed to being the driver, something that officers ultimately determined to be untrue, according to police.

Jennifer Carey, a spokesperson for the Huntington Beach Police Department, said that through the course of their conversation with Kimberly Burch, officers found out that Daniel Burch was driving the 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee southbound on PCH when it hit the 66-year-old man. The victim has not been identified by police.

Carey said that Kimberly Burch returned to the scene about 15 minutes after officers were on the scene and Daniel Burch returned approximately two and a half hours later. The department is still investigating if drugs or alcohol played a role in the crash.

According to arrest records, Kimberly Burch was booked on suspicion of making a false report to a peace officer and being an accessory after the fact, both misdemeanors, Carey said.

On her Facebook and LinkedIn, Kimberly Burch says she works at Cal State Long Beach. She’s listed under her maiden name as a lecturer of art history on the school’s website. A spokesperson for Cal State Long Beach said that Kimberly Burch was a part-time lecturer with the university but her contract expired in August.

Daniel Burch was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run resulting in death or injury, a felony charge. Carey said the couple posted bail but was unsure of what the bail amount was.

Surfside is a colony of Seal Beach that consists of one small, gated community. The hit-and-run happened just a few streets south of the neighborhood.

The HBPD accident investigation team is still looking into the incident and is asking for anyone who witnessed the incident or has information about the hit-and-run to contact HBPD Traffic Investigator D. Demetre at 714-536-5670 or Investigator V. Rattanchandani at 714-536-5231.

Editor’s note: The story has been updated with more information about Kimberly Burch’s employment status with Cal State Long Beach.

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Jason Ruiz has been covering City Hall for the Post for nearly a decade. A Long Beach resident, Ruiz graduated from Cal State Long Beach with a degree in journalism. He and his wife Kristina and, most importantly, their dog Mango, live in Long Beach. He is a particularly avid fan of the Dallas Cowboys and the UCLA Bruins, which is why he sometimes comes to work after the weekend in a grumpy mood.
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