Allison Owens, 23, U.S. Citizen, Killed In Hit-And-Run Accident In Italy; Driver Turns Himself In

10/07/2011 12:09 pm ET | Updated Dec 07, 2011

By NICOLE WINFIELD, Associated Press

ROME -- The driver of a car that hit and killed an American woman while she was jogging turned himself in Friday after police located the car and discovered it had already been repaired, police said.

A Tuscan businessman, Pietro Stefanoni was questioned for several hours by magistrates Friday, said Carabinieri police Col. Antonio Frassinetto. Stefanoni, 56, told authorities he fell asleep at the wheel on Sunday when it fatally struck Allison Owens, 23, from Columbus, Ohio, news reports said.

Frassinetto said investigators tracked down his Volvo by analyzing speed camera footage of the road and green paint chips on the guardrail near where Owens' body was found - a canal close to a busy state highway running through the town of San Giovanni Valdarno, between Florence and Arezzo.

Frassinetto told The Associated Press the car was impounded Friday morning after police located it in Tuscany, albeit it far from the scene. He said it had already been repaired by mechanics, and that the damage from the collision had been "substantial."

He said the driver turned himself in after the car had been located, implying that he only did so knowing that police were closing in on him. News reports had initially suggested Stefanoni turned himself in spontaneously.

Calls to the driver's lawyer went unanswered Friday, as the interrogation was under way.

Owens' family lawyer, Valentino Durante, told the AP the family was withholding comment until prosecutors make a decision about possible charges in the case.

Frassinetto said prosecutors had asked police to return to the scene for further investigation.

Allison Rhea Owens