Hit-and-run trial postponed for former Merced County sheriff's deputy

12/09/2013 9:20 PM

12/09/2013 9:22 PM

Scheduling conflicts on Monday delayed a jury trial for a former Merced County sheriff’s deputy charged with leaving a crash scene last year and lying to police.

Dylan J. Buessing, 26, has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and giving false information to officers, as well as a traffic infraction for running a stop sign in a single-vehicle crash Oct. 30, 2012 at East Childs Avenue and Campus Parkway in Merced, according to Merced County Superior Court records.

At the time of the crash, Buessing worked as full-time deputy sheriff, but was off duty and driving a vehicle owned by a relative. He is no longer employed at the Sheriff’s Department, according to Merced County records and Superior Court documents.

On Monday, Judge Carol K. Ash ordered Buessing to return Dec. 17 for further proceedings. A new trial date has not been scheduled, according to Sara Rosenthal, the Merced County deputy district attorney prosecuting the case.

“The defense (attorney) said he may have a (scheduling conflict) and is still waiting for some discovery in the case,” Rosenthal said.

Defense attorney William Davis couldn’t be reached for comment.

According to a Merced Police Department report, a light pole was knocked down at an intersection when it was struck by the driver of a white Ford F-250 pickup truck, causing about $3,000 in damage. A city worker discovered and reported the damaged pole the following morning.

Buessing initially told officials he was on his phone when he inadvertently ran a stop sign and lost control of the vehicle while turning onto Campus Parkway, according to the police report. He later told officers he took two Vicodin pills about 45 minutes before the collision and fell asleep at the wheel, the report states.

He said he awoke as the truck turned onto Campus Parkway, overcorrected and veered onto the sidewalk, striking the light pole, and said he left the scene because he did not want to be arrested for driving under the influence, according to the report.

Police said that Buessing did not contact authorities about the crash and was only identified by investigators because the vehicle’s front license plate was found at the crash scene. Officers found the truck parked on Vassar Avenue and noted major front-end collision damage, the report states.

Buessing was hired by the Sheriff’s Department on April 18, 2007, as a part-time security attendant and was promoted to a full-time deputy sheriff’s position on Feb. 4, 2008. His employment with the Sheriff’s Department ended Oct. 9 of this year, Merced County spokesman Mike North confirmed.

Citing personnel issues, Undersheriff Tom Cavallero said he could not discuss why Buessing left the Sheriff’s Department.

Buessing was never booked at the Merced County Jail and remains free on his own recognizance, according to court records.

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