Motorist Gets 2 Years in Prison for Fatal Hit and Run

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A two-year prison sentence was handed down Wednesday for a motorist who fled after fatally injuring a man near his home in Lincoln Park two months ago.

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Darius Jordan Runnells, 22, pleaded guilty last month to hit-and-run resulting in death.

San Diego police said 57-year-old Ruben Meza was walking away from his parked truck toward his apartment about 8:15 p.m. on April 5 when a southbound sedan traveling at high speed hit him in the 1200 block of 47th Street, then sped off.

Deputy District Attorney Meghan Buckner said Runnells went home, covered his car and was not seen for several days before surrendering six days after the collision.

The prosecutor said Runnells knew he hit someone that night but told a probation officer that someone threw something at his car and he sped off. The victim’s niece told Judge Timothy Walsh that her uncle was a good- hearted person.

“Why did you not stop to aid him?” Lilia Meza asked the defendant. “He (Meza) was the glue that held this family together. You could have helped him.”

The judge said it wasn’t guaranteed that Meza would have survived had Runnells stopped, but the defendant’s actions after the collision made it a prison case.

The defendant had no previous criminal record.

“The day of the accident, he knows he should have stopped,” Runnells’ mother said in a letter to the court.

–City News Service

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