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    Orange County firefighter charged with hit and run crash in Dana Point
    • October 17, 2023

    A grand jury handed up an indictment on last week, charging a veteran Orange County Fire Authority firefighter with a hit and run crash that killed a man in Dana Point last year, officials said on Tuesday, March 17.

    Jeffrey Richard Grasinger, of Rancho Santa Margarita, was indicted on one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury or death, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

    On October 21, 2022, Grasinger, 36, is accused of striking the victim, 24-year-old Said Darinel Sanchez, who was crossing Pacific Coast Highway, the district attorney’s office said in a press release on Tuesday. The crash caused the victim to go airborne, spin through the air, and fall head first into the pavement.

    Video of the collision captured the moment the vehicle hit its brakes before crashing into the victim, as well at the moments after the crash, including the vehicle leaving without stopping or rendering aid, the district attorney’s office said.

    The vehicle was tracked to a home in Rancho Santa Margarita by Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigators, who found blood on the front of the vehicle and damage consistent with hitting a pedestrian.

    Grasinger, an OCFA firefighter for 13 years, was determined by investigators to have been behind the wheel when Sanchez was struck and killed.

    “Firefighters are public servants who are sworn to protect the lives of others,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the press release. “While another driver stopped to render aid after witnessing the collision, Mr. Grasinger, a professional firefighter trained to provide medical attention, drove off after hitting a human being. The fact that a sworn firefighter would disregard a human life so callously is not only disturbing; it is criminal.”

    Grasinger was released on his own recognizance over the objection of prosecutors, who argued for bail, and is scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 17 at the Central Justice Center in Santa Ana.

    He faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison if convicted.

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    ​ Orange County Register