Suspect in SLO hit-and-run had recent DUI arrest

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comJanuary 10, 2013 

A Clovis man charged in a hit-and-run involving a San Luis Obispo police sergeant had been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence three weeks earlier, according to court records.

Wade Evin Hamby, 49, appeared in San Luis Obispo Superior Court this week on a felony charge of hit-and-run resulting in injury. His attorney, Ron Crawford, said he is still catching up on the details, having just been assigned to the case.

“My client’s very remorseful,” he said. “We hope (the officer) makes a speedy recovery.”

According to court records, the accident with Sgt. Jeff Booth occurred around 6:15 a.m. on New Year’s Eve. Booth was driving on patrol north on Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo when his SUV was struck from behind by a white pickup truck, causing the airbags in Booth’s SUV to deploy. During the accident, Booth suffered cuts and abrasions to his arms and a hand.

The pickup’s driver then fled, exiting the highway at Madonna Road. Another driver followed the pickup, a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado, and provided police with a partial license plate number and a description of the vehicle.

A week later, CHP officers and Santa Maria police located Hamby in Santa Maria, where his girlfriend lives. The girlfriend told police Hamby had arrived at her house around 5 a.m. that day, after driving from Fresno, then left to be at work in Morro Bay around 7 a.m. When he returned later that night, she said, he didn’t mention any accident.

Hamby eventually admitted to police that he hit a vehicle and failed to report the accident, according to police reports.

According to the citation from his arrest on Dec. 8, Hamby was driving 92 miles per hour in a 65-mile-per-hour zone near Arroyo Grande. After he was pulled over, he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence.

That case is still pending.

Court records indicate Hamby was previously convicted of felony possession of a controlled substance in Fresno.

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