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Driver who hit Ocean Beach good samaritan sentenced

Posted: 11:39 AM, Jul 21, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-21 14:39:35-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An unlicensed and uninsured motorist, who fled the scene after hitting a good Samaritan helping two people stranded in a broken-down car in Ocean Beach, was sentenced today to a year in local custody.

Jaron Blake Hillyer, 27, pleaded guilty last month to felony hit-and-run causing injury.

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Judge Eugenia Eyherabide placed Hillyer on three years probation and told the defendant he could serve his time in a work furlough-residential re-entry program in hopes that he will get a job and start making restitution to the victim, Julio Vasquez.

Vasquez, 26, told the court that since the accident, he has trouble breathing due to a punctured lung and his broken leg will never be the same.

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``People call it an accident, I call it a tragedy,'' Vasquez said. ``I thought I was gonna die.''

Vasquez said he is now working two jobs to try and make ends meet for his wife and two young children.

``I lost everything,'' the victim told the judge. ``I lost a lot.''

Police said Hillyer left the scene after his Subaru station wagon struck Vasquez in the 2900 block of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard about midnight on April 9.

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Acting on a tip from the public, investigators found Hillyer's Outback Legacy in the 4300 block of Orchard Avenue, about a mile south of the site of the crash. On May 7, the defendant turned himself in and was booked into jail, then posted $50,000 bail.

Defense attorney Greg Turner said Hillyer made an ``awful decision''to leave the scene of the accident, calling his client's actions ``inexcusable.''

Turner said, however, that Hillyer surrendered to police once he was identified as the driver who hit Vasquez.