A Huntington Beach man was convicted Thursday of driving on a suspended license, hitting another driver and causing the victim severe injuries, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.
Oscar Paz, 32, was found guilty of one felony count of hit-and-run, causing permanent injury, prosecutors said. He faces a maximum of four years in state prison at his sentencing, which is scheduled on Sept. 21, according to prosecutors.
The victim suffered brain and spinal injuries, can't walk or talk and is in constant pain, prosecutors said. He was in a critical condition at UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange for several weeks following the accident.
While driving his Volkswagen Jetta on the Garden Grove (22) Freeway at about 5 a.m. on Dec. 11, Paz rear-ended the 66-year-old victim's Nissan Pulsar.
The victim's car was pushed across the freeway and crashed into the center divider, prosecutors said. Paz exited the freeway without helping the victim, parked his car at a strip mall and left on foot, according to prosecutors. He then called his girlfriend to pick him up. His license had been suspended for not showing up in court for a speeding ticket.
Paz eventually turned himself in two days later at the California Highway Patrol's Westminster office, which investigated the case and had found his car at the mall, according to prosecutors.