San Diego Sheriff's deputy seriously injured in crash speaks: Robert Hubert recount collision

Deputy struggling to recover from April crash

SAN DIEGO - His life was shattered back in April when a drunk driver pulled out in front of his motorcycle leaving a mangled mess.

For the first time since the crash, San Diego Sheriff's Deputy Robert Hubert is speaking to 10News about what life is like now.

The horrific crash happened on April 11 near the intersection of Albatross and West Washington streets in Hillcrest.        

Hubert was off-duty, riding his motorcycle home when a drunk driver pulled out in front of him.       

Hubert says the next thing he remembers is waking up in the hospital four days later.

“I wanted to retire after 35 years,” Hubert told 10News.

Little did he know, a drunk driver would end the career he was so passionate for.

He now wears a body and neck brace and walks with a cane.

“I've put so much time and energy into this and then somebody who doesn't seem to really have any kind of focus in life is just able to take it away,” said Hubert.

According to the police report from the night of the crash, Hubert was driving home on his red motorcycle when a Lexus SUV pulled out in front of him. Hubert slammed head-first into the SUV, suffering several serious injuries.

“Four broken vertebrae in my spine," said Hubert. "My right femur broke into three places. My knee was cut open and they put a titanium rod all the way through my entire femur for it to be able to heal. I had three broken ribs. My liver had a laceration in it too."

Twenty-five-year-old Zachary Pavel was arrested at the scene, charged and eventually pleaded guilty.

According to the police report, an open bottle of beer was found on the passenger seat along with five others.

Hubert said he will be at Pavel's sentencing July 8. If he chooses to say something when it comes time for victim impact statements, he said he would say the following.

“You could have killed somebody. You could have killed me. Try to take a little bit more responsibility in your own actions,” said Hubert.

This was Pavel's second DUI in less than six months.

According to the police report, Pavel blew a .18 following the crash, more than twice the legal limit.

Pavel faces a year in jail when he’s sentenced. After he is released, he will be placed on probation.

Because of a plea deal he took, if he violates probation at time, he could go to state prison for up to six years.        

A civil suit is just days away from being filed by Hubert's attorney.        

Both Pavel and his father, a prominent local oral surgeon, are named in the suit.


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