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25Sep/12Off

O.C. Driver Sentenced In Hit-And-Run Death

Have you ever come close to running a pedestrian over? Of course, we all have. Imagine for a moment if you had run over a pedestrian, who actually has the right of way, and there are no other cars around. Would you stop? Would you keep going?

Like most law-abiding citizens, you’d probably stop. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Believe it or not, there are actually a lot of drivers who don’t stop and just keep going.

English: A pedestrian crossing sign that has b...

English: A pedestrian crossing sign that has been vandalized by the addition of a Red Bull can and wings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Orange County judge sentenced a man on Friday to two years in state prison for leaving the scene after he fatally struck a woman in a Huntington Beach intersection.

He was not blamed for the accident itself.

Jason Michael Roberts, 33, of San Juan Capistrano, who pleaded guilty in May, was sentenced on one felony count of hit-and-run with injury in connection with the July 22, 2011, crash as four friends walked through a crosswalk at Brookhurst Street and Atlanta Avenue after a birthday celebration at a bar.

Oriana Millan, a 24-year-old mother of a now-6-year-old girl, was killed.

Roberts’ Toyota Camry struck Millan and a man who was part of the group in the crosswalk. Millan was pronounced dead at the scene, while the man suffered non-fatal injuries.

Roberts fled the scene, driving 12 miles to Laguna Beach before his car broke down because of the impact caused by striking Millan, Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino said.

Roberts had the “moral obligation” to stop and, except for the vehicle breaking down, “he’d be home free,” Pino said.

Roberts initially told Laguna Beach officers that he had struck a deer on Pacific Coast Highway, but authorities said the damage made it obvious he struck a person.

He deserved prison time because he lied to police and his action showed “a degree of callousness,” Superior Court Judge Gary Paer said. But his action did not warrant the maximum four years, the judge added at the hearing.

“There are no winners here,” Paer declared, having said earlier Roberts was not charged with causing the death of Millan, and the case likely would not even be prosecuted had he stopped at the crash scene. Police concluded that Roberts was not at fault in the “tragic accident,” Paer said. “The only crime here is not stopping.”

Millan’s sister-in-law, Lauren Bagosian-Ruvalcaba, told Paer her 6-year-old niece does not want to give away clothes her mother bought for her even though they don’t fit her now. For Christmas last year, the girl put this on her wish list: “I need Santa to bring my mother back.”

If a loved one was the victim of wrongful death that was caused by negligence or some other form of reckless behavior, it is important that you contact a committed and dedicated personal injury lawyer to help you decide if you should file a lawsuit. A competent and reputable injury lawyer can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering.