Woman who abandoned elderly passenger after crash sentenced to prison

SAN DIEGO -- A Lemon Grove woman who admitted leaving the scene of a crash on foot and abandoning her severely injured 79-year-old passenger was sentenced to prison Tuesday.

Deneen Elizabeth Grear, 53, of San Diego, was the driver of a 2010 Mazda 3 that crashed a car into a parked SUV on a Lincoln Park roadside the morning of May 27 in the 500 block of 47th Street. She pleaded guilty to leaving the crash scene. Tuesday, the judge sentenced her to four years in prison.

Police say the elderly male passenger suffered severe head and neck trauma and was not expected to survive. His son, who was at Tuesday's sentencing, told FOX 5 that his father was severely disable by his injuries and would never be the same.

“There’s no justice,” said victim's son, Raz Autman.

Autman spoke to FOX 5's Maria Arcega-Dunn following the sentencing.   Autman says although Grear is going to jail for the maximum punishment, the sentence is just not enough.

“She’s going to probably go with the population in prison and live her four years out and get back out and probably do something stupid again like this,” he said.

And although his father, Robert Autman, may have survived his injuries, his son says he and his family has lost his father who can no longer respond or even feed himself.

“My father was my best friend, someone’s grandad, someone’s dad, someone’s uncle, someone’s brother. All that is gone. Basically, my father is just a vegetable. He just lays in the hospital,” said Autman.

A second passenger, a 39-year-old man, riding in the front passenger seat suffered minor injuries. Investigators said the younger man told them he had recently met the woman and could not provide information on the suspect's identity.

Police sought the public's help identifying the suspect before a tip submitted to the San Diego County Crime Stoppers led to Grear's arrest. Surveillance cameras also captured She was located in the 7300 block of Broadway in Lemon Grove. Grear was arrested and booked into the La Colinas Detention Facility.

Jail records indicate she is being held on $50,000 bail with suspicion of a felony hit-and-run.