Man arrested in hit-and-run that injured SLO police sergeant

tstrickland@thetribunenews.comJanuary 7, 2013 

A Clovis man involved in a felony hit-and-run on Highway 101 last week that injured a San Luis Obispo police sergeant was arrested Saturday thanks to a witness’ tip, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Wade Evin Hamby, 49, was arrested in Santa Maria after the CHP tracked down his information through a partial license plate number and vehicle description given by a witness at the time of the collision.

At 6:15 a.m. on Dec. 31, San Luis Obispo police Sgt. Jeff Booth was hit in his marked patrol SUV as he entered northbound Highway 101 at Prado Road.

Booth was on routine patrol at the time.

Hamby, who authorities say was speeding, was driving a white 2000 Chevrolet Silverado pickup when he allegedly crashed into the rear of Booth’s patrol vehicle, pushing it off the roadway and into the center median, where it crashed into the guardrail.

Hamby then allegedly fled the scene, exiting the highway at Madonna Road.

Booth suffered minor injuries, including scrapes and a cut, authorities said. He was treated and released at the scene.

After officers researched Hamby’s DMV records in Clovis, they received another tip that led their investigation to Santa Maria. CHP worked with police there.

The Santa Maria Police Department found Hamby at a residence at Cat and Antone lanes at 3 p.m. Saturday after officers followed him there. Hamby was reportedly driving the same Chevrolet truck, matching the witness’ initial description with crash-related damage.

It’s not yet known whether Hamby was under the influence of alcohol or drugs during the collision as he was arrested six days later, said Officer J.W. Townsend, a CHP spokesman in San Luis Obispo.

Hamby was drinking alcohol just before his arrest Saturday but was within the legal limit for driving, Townsend said.

On Monday, Hamby remained in San Luis Obispo County Jail in lieu of posting $50,000 bail.

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