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Loved ones remember man struck by hit-and-run driver in University Heights

Close friends of 47-year-old Josh Gilliland say he is not expected to survive his injuries
Posted at 5:44 PM, Jun 13, 2023

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Loved ones have identified the man struck by a hit-and-run driver on Saturday in University Heights as 47-year-old Josh Gilliland.

They say Gilliland is not expected to survive his injuries.

“He was a very, very wonderful friend. He loved his friends. Loved his family…just a beautiful person,” Lisa Kaplan told 10News.

“He had a wicked sense of humor…he was very quick with a joke,” added Roger Scott, who worked with Gilliland for decades.

They say Josh was walking on his way to work at Cheers, where he was a beloved neighborhood bartender for 21 years when he was hit.

“I actually had dinner with Josh right before he got hit. So I was the last person to see him alive and conscious,” said Kaplan, tearfully.

Police say Gilliland was hit while standing near a bus lane at the intersection of El Cajon and Park Blvd. by a driver who fled the scene.

Several people in the neighborhood shared with 10News that they feel the intersection is confusing and dangerous.

“There are about four or five roads that come together there in a high-traffic area,” said Scott.

On top of that, there are bus lanes, lanes where traffic switches direction and a construction project currently rerouting cars.

“That intersection is crazy. You don’t know which way to turn and if you turn a certain way you’re actually going against traffic. It’s a really easy mistake to make. I’ve been scared to death to drive on that intersection as long as I've lived here,” added Kaplan.

Kaplan says Gilliland will soon be taken off life support.

“I had my best friend and now he’s gone. I would love to see them clean it up so we don’t lose another life,” she said.

Police say they haven’t yet determined who was at fault but they are actively looking for the driver of that car – described as a dark-colored Honda Civic or BMW 3 series.