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Arrest warrant issued for woman after fatal hit-and-run in northwest Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY – An arrest warrant has been issued for a woman following a fatal hit-and-run in the northwest side.

The arrest warrant was filed on Friday in Oklahoma County for 32-year-old Ciara Lorraine Cole, also known as Ciara Diop.

Back on August 15, officials responded to the hit-and-run near Rockwell Avenue and Melrose Lane and found a pedestrian lying in the roadway with significant injuries consistent with having been struck by a vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The victim, identified as 27-year-old Kaeloni Tauvao, was taken to a hospital, where she later died. Tauvao had been walking back from getting a drink at a gas station in the area and trying to avoid a puddle when she was struck, her aunt, Linda Deason, told News 4 at the time.

Deason said Tauvao was a mother of two. The aunt said the family remembers Tauvao as kindhearted with a free spirit and they want answers in her niece’s death.

All officials had was a description of the suspect’s vehicle: a red 2011-13 Ford Fiesta with right front-end damage.

According to the affidavit, the vehicle was found August 28, parked near the 9400 block of N. Overholser Drive after a 911 call about it being suspicious. The caller had said the vehicle matched the description involved in the hit-and-run, including the damage.

Officials said the vehicle is registered to Cole, who was close to the scene during the hit-and-run and around Lake Overholser when the vehicle was left abandoned, according to phone records. Officials said she tried calling 911 after the hit-and-run but hung up.

During the investigation, a friend and former roommate of Cole's, Tawanna Mckenzie, said Cole drove a little, red vehicle and positively identified both the vehicle and Cole. Mckenzie said Cole told her that she was no longer driving the vehicle because she couldn't make the payments so it was taken away.

Mckenzie told officials, a short time after the hit-and-run, Cole mentioned going out of state and has kept her distance from her since.

Cole now faces charges of leaving the scene of a fatality accident and causing a fatality accident without a state driver's license.