San Diego

Driver in Lincoln Park Hit-and-Run Crash Pleads Guilty

A San Diego man pleaded guilty to felony hit-and-run charges in the death of a Lincoln Park man, prosecutors confirmed Tuesday.

Darius Runnells, 22, was behind the wheel of the vehicle that struck and killed Ruben Meza along South 47th Street on April 5.

Meza was walking across the street heading home to his apartment around 8:25 p.m. when he was struck. 

Runnells didn't stop to offer any help to Meza. Instead, he parked the vehicle approximately a mile away from the scene of the collision.

Officers were alerted to the vehicle two days after the crash by a neighbor who noticed the shattered windshield with front-end damage.

NBC 7 learned Runnells' driving privileges had been suspended more than a year before the crash for driving without a license, a traffic infraction and failure to appear in court.

On the night of Meza's death, Runnells was driving a Toyota Corolla registered to his mother.

Runnells' mother lives just around the block from where Ruben Meza was killed.

Meza, 57, left behind a large family including his wife, kids and grandchildren.

Runnells will be sentenced June 7.

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