Ex-SDG&E worker accused in fatal hit-and-run pleads not guilty
Video Report By Angelique Lizarde, Reporter - bio | email
Video Report By Phil Blauer, Anchor/Reporter - bio | email
EL CAJON (CNS) - An ex-San Diego Gas & Electric employee pleaded not guilty to a felony charge in the hit-and-run death of a pedestrian who was run over by one of the utility's work trucks.
If he's convicted, 55-year-old Hector Hoyt faces up to four years in prison.
After the defendant was arraigned, a judge set a readiness conference for March 27 and a preliminary hearing for April 15.
Hoyt was arrested Jan. 22, posted $50,000 bail and was released the next day. He was employed by SDG&E at the time of the fatal accident, but he no longer works there, according to a company statement.
Through interviews with several witnesses and reviews of surveillance video from businesses around the site of the accident, detectives identified Hoyt as the driver who allegedly fled after the SDG&E-owned Ford 550 struck 54-year-old Robert Fisher in the 100 block of Jamacha Road in downtown El Cajon on the evening of Jan. 6.
After being struck and knocked to the roadway while crossing the street mid-block, Fisher was hit by another vehicle, Lt. Randy Soulard said. The victim, a transient, died at the scene.
The second motorist stopped, called police and was cooperative with investigators, according to Soulard.
Detectives determined that Fisher initially was hit by a white utility truck with a logo on it and a crane with a lift bucket in the cargo bed. They tracked down the vehicle the following day at Hoyt's home in the 1100 block of Cloverleaf Drive in El Cajon home and impounded it.
At the time of the crash, Hoyt was off-duty, and the utility vehicle was out of service, Soulard said.
Though the district attorney has yet to put forth allegations regarding alcohol use by Hoyt prior to the incident, Fisher's family's attorney Dan Gilleon told CBS News 8 Wednesday he suspects alcohol played a factor.