Fountain Valley man sentenced to 4 years in prison in hit-and-run that killed marathoner

A Fountain Valley man was sentenced Tuesday to four years in state prison for an August hit-and-run crash that killed an area marathoner near Mile Square Regional Park.

John Motesharrei, 40, pleaded guilty Dec. 5 to felony hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury and misdemeanor hit-and-run with property damage, according to Orange County Superior Court records.

The crash, which occurred at about 9 p.m. Aug. 23 along Brookhurst Street between Warner and Heil avenues, killed Juan Ramirez Garcia, 48, of Santa Ana.

Witnesses told officers that Ramirez was jogging when he was hit by a light-colored Ford SUV that fled the scene, police said at the time.

Ramirez typically ran 70 miles a week and completed more than 20 marathons, said Diane Daruty, a board member of the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run, an annual day of races in Newport Beach. He was a star of the Cal Coast Running Club and won the Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon in 2008.

On Aug. 24, investigators found a white Ford SUV in Westminster that they suspected was involved in the crash. Motesharrei was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run and vehicular manslaughter, according to police.

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