- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey couple has pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a hit-and-run that claimed the life of a 7-year-old girl.

Fabian Rodriguez and Joanna Rosas-Alvarez made their initial court appearances Wednesday.

Prosecutors say Rodriguez was driving an SUV owned by Rosas-Alvarez when he hit Sheyla Pichardo and her 32-year-old mother on Monday morning. The pair were struck in a crosswalk as they walked to Public School No. 1 in West New York.

The 33-year-old Rodriguez, who was alone in the SUV, is charged with causing and leaving the scene of fatal accident. His bail was set at $250,000.

The 26-year-old Rosas-Alvarez is charged with hindering apprehension for allegedly trying to cover up what happened. Her bail was set at $7,500.

Police checked databases for a matching vehicle after surveillance video yielded partial license plate characters.

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