Jose Carlos Uribe, 21, pleaded guilty in January to felony hit-and-run and a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.
Uribe was on probation for false imprisonment and destroying evidence at the time of the accident last Sept. 21 that left Kenneth Fruedenvoll with three crushed vertebrae and a fractured vertebrae.
Motorists saw Uribe's car swerving before he hit the right rear of Fruedenvoll's Ford F250 truck, authorities said. The accident happened about 3 p.m. as the vehicles were transitioning from westbound Interstate 8 to northbound Interstate 805.
Deputy District Attorney Jalyn Wang said Fruedenvoll -- who was in the Navy -- will never be 100 percent and just recently started walking again with a cane.
"He (Fruedenvoll) told me that he felt that his life was stolen," the prosecutor said outside court.
Uribe's attorney said his client has an intellectual disability and suffers from anxiety.
The defendant begged Judge Polly Shamoon for leniency, saying "I know I did wrong" and apologizing for making the decision to flee the scene.
Wang said Uribe was texting and driving erratically before causing Fruedenvoll's truck to plummet 40 to 50 feet before striking Dave & Buster's restaurant. The victim's truck landed upright in a parking lot, and no one on the ground was injured.
"He (Uribe) never should have been driving in the first place," Wang told the judge. "He caused this accident. He left that victim for dead."
Wang said Uribe fled from two witnesses who tried to follow him after the crash, then parked in an underground lot, changed a tire, and tried to wipe transfer paint off his vehicle.
A passenger in Uribe's SUV came forward the next day, and the defendant was later arrested.
The prosecutor called Uribe's actions "shocking."
In denying probation, Shamoon told the defendant that he had a history of getting rid of evidence. She noted the case for which Uribe was on probation involved him and four others having sex with a woman, then burning the victim's underwear.
"You're about getting rid of the evidence," Shamoon told the defendant.