Hit and run survivor sees alleged driver for first time

6:51 PM, Jul 31, 2012   |    comments
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Bill Collins

SACRAMENTO, CA - The survivor of a deadly hit and run crash four months ago, finally saw the man accused of permanently disabling him and killing his best friend.

Bill Collins walks with a cane now. He suffered a broken hip and several broken ribs when an SUV ran over him and friend, Paul Pellandini, on March 22 as they stood outside of Pellandini's Carmichael home. Collins said the SUV came so fast that he didn't realize he was hit until he woke up on the ground.

"I never saw a truck, I never saw anything. The next thing I know, I'm underneath another truck with Paul on top of me," Collins recalled.

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Collins never saw the driver who changed his life and took his friend's.

On Tuesday afternoon, Collins sat with his family in a Sacramento courtroom to get a first look at the man police say is responsible.

Steven Hernandez, 38, of Sacramento is charged with vehicular manslaughter, hit and run resulting in death, and hit and run resulting in serious injury. Hernandez was also arraigned on other charges related to a stolen car.

"Personally, it doesn't bother me," Collins said of seeing Hernandez in court. "I have no sympathy for the man. He needs to man-up and pay for what he did."

Police said they found Hernandez during a stolen car investigation. He was also wanted for another hit and run accident back in 2010 in North Sacramento. Police said Hernandez was a suspect in the Carmichael crash, but would not say what evidence led to his arrest in that case.

"It's amazing you can go through life doing that," said Collins. "How can you hit someone and not get caught?"

Despite his painful injuries, Collins plans to attend every court proceeding, because his friend cannot. Hernandez is scheduled to appear for further arraignment on Thursday, Aug. 2 at 8:30 a.m.


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