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.
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.
``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.
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.