Driver sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing man in hit-and-run in south Austin

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AUSTIN (Texas) — A Hutto man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for killing another man in a hit and run in south Austin on Aug. 1, 2018.

Darrell Smitty, 53, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors in relation to the death of 40-year-old Ernesto Garcia.

During a sentencing hearing in the 299th District Court, Judge Mike Lynch sentenced Smitty to 20 years in prison.

The court heard that the incident happened as Garcia was walking towards a bus stop near Ben White Boulevard and South First Street.

Ernesto Garcia
Ernesto Garcia

As passengers were boarding the bus, a pick-up truck drove around the bus and onto the sidewalk where it hit Garcia, according to witnesses.

Video from Capital Metro shows the truck driver, later identified as Smitty, getting out of the vehicle and walking over to Garcia after crashing the truck into a trash can.

He then returned to the truck and fled the scene. Garcia died from his injuries.

Later that day, Smitty went to Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas to seek medical attention. Police were able to track him to the hospital the following morning.

As part of the deal with prosecutors, Smitty pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter and failing to stop to render aid.

“This case serves as a tragic reminder that everyone has a responsibility for each other’s safety on the roads of our community and that everyone has a legal duty to remain at the scene of a collision,” said Travis County Assistant District Attorney Matthew Foye.

“If you do not remain, you can and will face an additional criminal charge for leaving.”

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