Former SDG&E worker heading to trial after waiving preliminary h - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Former SDG&E worker heading to trial after waiving preliminary hearing

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EL CAJON (CNS) - An ex-San Diego Gas & Electric employee, charged with hit-and-run in the death of a pedestrian run over by one of the utility's trucks, waived his right to a preliminary hearing Thursday and will proceed to trial.

Hector Hoyt, 56, faces up to four years in state prison if convicted.

"He agreed, he and his attorney, that there was enough evidence to bind this case over and agreed not to hold his hearing," Deputy District Attorney George Modlin, said.

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 accident but no longer works there, according to the company.

Through interviews with several witnesses and reviews of surveillance video from businesses around the site of the accident, detectives identified

Hoyt was the driver who 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, police said.

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 cooperated with investigators, according to Soulard. Detectives determined Fisher was hit by a white utility truck with a logo on it, and a crane with a lift bucket fitted into the cargo bed.

Fisher's mother says her family was left feeling shattered.

"I just jumped up and cried, I was waiting for him to maybe get married, maybe also have me a grandchild," Dianne Niemi, said.

They tracked the vehicle the next day to 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, Soulard said.

An attorney is developing potential evidence including possible surveillance video to be used in a wrongful death claim against Hoyt and SDG&E. It's filed on behalf of Fisher's family. They believe Hoyt was drinking for several hours at his favorite hangout, an Outback Steakhouse.

Judge Daniel Goldstein scheduled a readiness conference for July 29 and set trial for Sept. 3.

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