Driver's timeline on night of deadly hit and run reveals new inf - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Driver's timeline on night of deadly hit and run reveals new information

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Albert Holman, 34, was celebrating his birthday the night before he was hit and killed. Albert Holman, 34, was celebrating his birthday the night before he was hit and killed.
Nicoll Koval is suspected in a crash that killed 34-year-old Albert Holman. Nicoll Koval is suspected in a crash that killed 34-year-old Albert Holman.

RANCHO PENASQUITOS (CBS 8) - News 8's continuing investigation of a deadly hit-and-run on Highway 56 a week ago has uncovered new information.

Albert Lee Holman, 34, was struck and killed by 23-year-old Nicoll Koval on the freeway just east of Black Mountain Road.

It's a cruel twist of fate that has Holman's friends still shaking their heads more than a week after he was killed allegedly by Koval, a Rancho Penasquitos woman who he just formally met as the pair celebrated his 34th birthday inside a Carmel Mountain pub.

"It almost probably makes it even tougher for (Koval) to deal with because now she has a face to put with the accident," friend Troy Wilhite said.

News 8 has learned that Koval left the pub around 11 p.m., and according to friends ended up at the Instant Replay Bar in Rancho Bernardo, where she stayed until its 2 a.m. closing time.

While Koval has not been arrested or charged in connection with the Mira Mesa man's death, she admitted to CHP investigators 12 hours later that she was driving her Nissan Sentra when the crash happened on westbound Highway 56 just east of Black Mountain Road right before 3 a.m. on October 20.

Albert Holman's longtime neighbor Bob Antipuesto still can't believe the quirky circumstances that are tying Koval and Holman together. Friends say after leaving the pub for home, Holman -- driving his Honda Accord -- apparently hit freeway debris that damaged two tires, causing him to stop on the side of the roadway.

Holman's cell phone battery had died because of all the birthday messages and texts he was receiving, and that's why he couldn't call for help.

In court documents, Nicoll Koval says Holman was walking either close to or in the slow lane during the dark and rainy night, apparently right into her path.

"I don't know what to say, but (Holman) didn't deserve to die," Antipuesto said.

News 8 has also discovered Koval has a criminal history of drug possession in Florida, where she used to live. According to a 2006 police report, she was 18 when she was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of a marijuana pipe after police found two grams of pot inside her car.

The arresting officer says he "smelled an odor of marijuana" coming "off the registration papers" she handed him. He "asked Nicoll where her marijuana was" and she replied "I don't have any". When he asked again where the pot was, he says "she looked at the ground and walked over to her vehicle and handed me a brown paper bag with marijuana inside it". The teen also "handed him a purple pipe with marijuana inside it".

Nicoll Koval successfully completed a drug education program and the misdemeanor pot charges were dropped four months later.

In the meantime, Albert Holman's friends are holding a memorial fundraiser Saturday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Group 4 Motorsport in Mira Mesa. Proceeds from raffle prize ticket sales will go to his family.

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