Hit-and-run suspect said he’d been drinking: reports

Kern's Sober Reality

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — The driver of a pickup that struck and injured a motorcyclist said he’d been drinking because of marital problems and left the scene because he was scared, according to court filings.

Jason Vera, 46, told police he “messed up” and believed his intoxication caused the March 5 crash, the documents say.

“Vera stated he was having trouble with his wife, and it led him to consume a small bottle of brandy around 8 p.m.,” about two hours before the crash, an investigator wrote in the documents released Friday.

Vera is charged with DUI causing bodily injury, hit and run resulting in injury and property damage, and not having insurance.

Just before 10 p.m., police were dispatched to the area of California Avenue and A Street for a crash involving a motorcycle and a vehicle that left the scene. The motorcyclist suffered serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital, police said.

Early May 6, officers patrolling the area of Wood Lane and South Real Road found a Dodge Ram matching the description of the suspect vehicle, according to the documents. The pickup had front-end damage and its front license plate was missing.

That evening, Vera contacted law enforcement after hearing from neighbors that police were looking for him. He said he was involved in the crash and officers arrested him at his home on Bianchi Way, the filings say.

Police asked Vera to describe what happened.

He had trouble recalling certain details, but Vera said he believed he’d been driving west on California Avenue when his phone fell off his lap, according to the documents. He said he reached down to grab it when the crash occurred.

Vera told police he drove away because he was scared. He parked his vehicle on Wood Lane, just south of his residence, and walked home, he said in the documents.

He couldn’t clearly recall the particulars of the crash because he’d been drinking, Vera told police. He said he decided to go on a drive to “clear his head” about an hour after finishing the brandy bottle.

Out on $30,540 bail, Vera is next due in court July 7.

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