OCEANSIDE, Calif. — The 22-year-old Marine who was struck by a hit-and-run driver in Oceanside has died, and the suspect was behind bars Friday on suspicion of felony hit-and-run, police said.
The driver of the white “Budget Rental” box truck, 30-year-old Ezequiel Cazares Garcia of Oceanside, began making a u-turn ahead of Brandon Joseph Bizzaro’s 2012 Suzuki motorcycle as both were headed north in the 300 block of Douglas Drive north of El Camino Real at about 8 a.m. Thursday, according to Oceanside police.
Bizzaro was unable to stop and crashed into the truck, police Sgt. Ignacio Lopez said. Garcia then fled, police said.
Bizzaro was airlifted to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla to be treated for major head trauma and was placed on life support, Lopez said. But he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
Garcia returned the truck to the Mission Avenue business where he leased it, and based on statements the man made there, a clerk called the police to report that one of their vehicles was in a collision, according to Oceanside police Lt. Leonard Cosby.
Garcia eventually returned to the scene and identified himself as the man who was driving the truck. Cosby said he was arrested after he made “a number of incriminating statements.”
Garcia was subsequently booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of felony hit-and-run. It was not immediately clear if speed or alcohol were factors in the crash.
Lopez asked that anyone with information on the crash call police Accident Investigator Bryan Hendrix at 760-435-4882.