Video Report By Dominic Garcia, Reporter - bio | email
Photos courtesy Dominic Garcia
SAN DIEGO (CBS NEWS 8) - A man was arrested in a residential neighborhood Sunday morning in connection with a deadly hit-and-run in Spring Valley.
Jason Michael Palmer was taken into custody on suspicion of felony hit and run and felony manslaughter.
It didn't take authorities long to catch up with 33-year-old Jason Palmer.
"It was all really fast, I have no idea what happened."
He was found at a woman's house after a mutual friend brought the hit and run suspect over.
"It's absolutely crazy, I just got home, my friend came over, it was like boom bam...Seven cop cars. Really freaked me out," the woman told CBS News 8.
Authorities say his car went up on a sidewalk hitting a man who was walking home around 3:45 this morning. The crash happened in Spring Valley on the north side of Campo Road, in the area of Cordoba Street. Police pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
"There was a witness on scene that heard the collision, came out and called it in. He also found the front license plate of the vehicle right next to the body," CHP Officer Kevin Pearlstein said.
The SUV was registered to one of Palmer's relatives and was later found in the in the 8500 block Hurlbut Street in Serra Mesa. The front end was completely smashed and authorities think drugs or alcohol may have been a factor.
"If you've ever seen a vehicle vs pedestrian at a high speed, it's a pretty violent impact. You figure 150-160 pound pedestrian can do a lot of damage," Officer Pearlstein said.
Palmer wasn't with the SUV but authorities say he just couldn't stay away.
"As they were on scene gathering evidence of the vehicle," he said. "Another vehicle drove by very slow, the officer looked at the passenger and made eye contact, recognized as the person we had been looking for."
The woman says she doesn't know Palmer, and can't believe she spent part of her morning with a man accused of manslaughter.
"It makes me sad, really sad, it's a loss of life. And to run from it, if he actually did, that's pretty crappy," she told CBS News 8.
"It's a tragic accident, unfortunately people don't quite get the message about DUI and hit and run etc...you're required by law to stay at the scene," Officer Pearlstein said.
Palmer faces two charges -- hit and run and manslaughter, both felonies. Authorities say a third charge of DUI could be added once toxicology tests come back.
Palmer was on probation and had an extensive criminal history, including a drunken driving conviction in 2000.