Hector Hoyt, 55, plead not guilty to one count of felony hit and run during his arraignment at El Cajon Superior Court Thursday morning.
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 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 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.
Fisher’s mother Dianne Niemi of Oklahoma spoke to Fox5 saying she still was in denial that her son was gone.
“Somebody killed him – hit him and left him!” said Niemi. “What-the-heck kind of person hits a human being and just goes on running down the road?”
She admits she had been estranged from her son in the last few years as he lived a transient lifestyle, but she had hope he would turn his life around.
“He was good kid,” said Niemi. “He was always smiling and being good to me – really good to me.