A man from San Juan Capistrano was convicted on Thursday for a hit-and-run accident that killed one woman and seriously injured a man, according to authorities.
Jason Michael Roberts, 32, pleaded guilty to two felony counts of hit-and-run with injury and could possibly spend four years and eight months in state prison, said the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The accident occurred at the intersection of Brookhurst Street and Atlanta Avenue in Huntington Beach after at about 1:45 a.m. on July 22, 2011 when four friends crossed through a crosswalk after leaving a birthday party at a bar known as Out of Bounds.
The car in the accident, a 1993 Toyota Camry, hit 24-year-old Oriana Millan and a male member of the group of friends while they were crossing the street. Millan, the mother of a five-year-old, died at the scene of the accident and the man was transported to the hospital with a fractured wrist and skull.
Authorities later discovered that the driver of the Camry had fled the scene and traveled 12 miles away to Laguna Beach before his car overheated and broke down. They later identified him as Roberts.
When authorities caught up with Roberts, he initially told Laguna Beach officers that he had hit an animal on Pacific Coast Highway, but from the reports to the damage to the car, it was obvious that he had hit a person. Police arrested him when they realized his connection to the Huntington Beach hit-and-run.
He must return to court on August 3 for sentencing.
The penalties and sentences of hit-and-run accidents can be different from state to state. In Virginia, for example, the crime can be called a felony if it results in death, injury, or damage to attended property in excess of a certain amount of money. Otherwise, it would be considered a misdemeanor crime.
In Texas, the crime can be considered a third degree felony if the accident leaves the victim dead or with serious bodily injury.
In California, hit-and-runs that result in bodily injury or death are also considered a felony and can cause the driver to be sentenced to at least five years in prison. It could also mean that the driver’s license is suspended, cancelled or revoked, depending on the severity of the crime.
It frequently carries at least a partial prison sentence, especially if the driver killed someone in the accident.
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