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Four arrested in connection with hit and run accident | News

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Four arrested in connection with hit and run accident

Zephyrhills, FL -- Four people face charges in connection with a hit and run accident that left a Pasco Sheriff's deputy badly injured.

And perhaps more disturbing are the details of what the Sheriff calls an attempted cover-up.

Pasco Sheriff's Deputy Darren Hill, 29, was airlifted to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa earlier this morning after a terrible head-on accident.

The driver who crossed the center lanes and hit the deputy's cruiser head-on took off running. 

Later, say investigators, that same suspect went on with his night of New Year's Eve partying as if nothing had happened.

When you look at the damage to Deputy Hill's crushed cruiser, it's easier to understand why Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco calls it a miracle that Hill survived the head-on crash.

"Thank God he is alive. So far we know he has two broken legs. The family's in there speaking with him and they say he's in pretty good spirits," said Nocco.

Investigators say the driver of the red Ford F-150 pick-up that crossed the center line and smashed into Hill's cruiser took off on foot.

They traced the vehicle to its owner, started asking questions, and eventually arrested 25-year-old Bertin Jaimes.

"His injuries, from what we believe were not that extensive. It's absolutely shocking when you see the extent of the deputy's vehicle," said Nocco, "There's damage to the Ford F-150, but he did make it here."

After the accident Bertin Jaimes walked five and a half miles to his brother's home following the wreck.

Jaimes, they say, had left a New Year's Eve party in Land O' Lakes after fighting with his wife, Gladys Soto.

When Soto came to pick him up at Jose's house, detectives say the couple, Jaimes' brother, and his wife all conspired to cover-up what had happened.

"Once again, in their arrogance, thinking they were going to get one over on the Pasco sheriff's office. We knew much more than we thought they knew," said Nocco.

Deputies say the two couples tried to lie about what had happened and even laughed about it. They also spoke Spanish in front of the deputies, thinking they were not being understood. But they were wrong.

"The uncooperativeness cannot be understated - of this family. This family thought they could lie to us. There were actually points where our deputies were actually laughed at. They were smiling and laughing at them," said Nocco.

In addition to being a deputy, Hill, is also a web-designer and a tech wizard who helped create a popular on-line video game.

But he and his brother also share a passion for police work and public service," said Sheriff Nocco.

"They always had that bug and they went to Hillsborough Community college and so that's how Darren got into law enforcement."

Incredibly, say detectives, Jaimes and his wife callously returned to the New Year's party they'd been at before the accident.

Neighbors, stunned by the allegation, say Jaimes and his relatives need to make a New Year's resolution:

"To make better choices, and to take care of your responsibilities and own up to what you did," said neighbor Kristin Ramos.

"I think it's appalling. Everyone knows this day and age, don't drink and drive. Be responsible. They have children for crying out loud. I - I think it's horrendous," said neighbor Colleen Terrell.

Jaimes faces a long list of charges stemming from the hit and run. His wife, his brother and his sister-in law all face charges of obstructing law enforcement.

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