San Diego

Police Arrest Suspect in Deadly Oceanside Hit-and-Run Crash

Police have arrested a suspect in an Oceanside hit-and-run crash that left a 22-year-old man dead.

The Oceanside Police Department (OPD) said officers and medics arrived at the scene of a crash on Mission Avenue last Tuesday to find Rufus LeiNeall Lucas of Oceanside dead in his vehicle.

At the time investigators believed Lucas hit the raised center median and flipped several times before his car came to rest on the other side of the road.

The next day, investigators discovered another vehicle was involved in the crash and fled the scene, the OPD said.

Investigators say Lucas was traveling westbound when an eastbound driver, 29-year-old Rijal St. Michel, made a U-turn and hit Lucas. Police say St. Michel pulled over for a short time then drove away.

"To drive off and see a car flip across the road knowing you caused it is so cold-hearted on another level," Lucas' sister Janeall said. "I don't think it's even human for someone to do that."

Unfortunately for Janeall and the rest of Lucas' family, this isn't the first time one of their own has been taken from them tragically. In fact, the night of the crash, Lucas' family was celebrating the life of his baby niece, Janeall's daughter, who passed away two years ago.

Janeall spent Tuesday evening in the tattoo chair inking a permanent tribute to her baby brother who was known by most as "Neil." For her, it was only right to have his portrait right next to another young, beautiful face.

"Both of my angels," Janeall said, remarking at the drawn faces of her late daughter and younger brother. "Because that's who greeted him. My daughter. So its only right to put them next to each other."

Often seen rocking headphones, Lucas was an aspiring musician. Despite lyrical content that his family described as hardcore, they say Lucas was never shy to show affection to those he cared about.

"He's always letting you know he loved you. That was it. He'd give you a kiss, give you a hug, say 'I love you, have a good day,' 'I love you, you're beautiful,'" family friend Jasiminie Barnett said.

Lucas' family has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise funds for his funeral service.

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