Parked San Diego police cruisers. Photo by Chris Stone

A man accused in a crash that seriously injured a good Samaritan who was helping two people stranded in a broken-down car in Ocean Beach pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a felony hit-and-run charge.

Jaron Blake Hillyer, 27, allegedly fled after his Subaru Outback Legacy station wagon struck 26-year-old Julio Vasquez in the 2900 block of Sunset Cliffs Boulevard shortly after midnight April 9, according to San Diego Police.

Vasquez, a married father of two, suffered a broken leg, broken rib and punctured lung.

Acting on a tip from the public, investigators found Hillyer’s Subaru in the 4300 block of Orchard Avenue, about a mile south of the site of the crash. On May 7, the defendant self-surrendered to police and was booked into jail, then posted $50,000 bail.

“His thoughts are not with himself. His thoughts are with the other person, their speedy recovery, their family,” said defense attorney Greg Turner of Hillyer, who faces up to three years in prison if convicted.

Judge Joseph Brannigan scheduled a readiness conference for June 21 and a preliminary hearing for July 17.

— City News Service

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