Nicolet Law Office, S.C.

Wisconsin driver sentenced in fatal hit-and-run accident

In July 2012, a then 17-year-old man struck and killed a 52-year-old man as he drove through Green Bay. For almost two months, police had no leads and no suspects and it seemed that the case would forever remain a mystery. But in a September blog post, we brought you an update after the brother of the driver urged the 17-year-old to come back to the United States after fleeing to Mexico.

In the September post, we described how the 17-year-old driver, while driving his Pontiac Grand AM, began arguing with his girlfriend, who was seated in the passenger seat. Because of a visual impairment that has left him almost blind, the driver was unaware of his surroundings, culminating in the vehicle accidentally striking and killing the 52-year-old man. Witnesses claimed that the vehicle slowed but sped up and drove away after the driver realized what had happened.

After the fatal hit and run, the driver's 21-year-old brother claims that he drove him to Milwaukee to catch a bus to Mexico after family members insisted that he flee the country. Despite the brother's alleged protests, the 17-year-old got on the bus and left for Mexico.

He later returned to the States, but didn't turn himself in and police claim that they discovered him hiding in a friend's closet before taking him into custody.

Since his court hearing in September, readers of our blog have been in the dark as to what decision the courts had made in the case. In an announcement made this month, the court has sentenced to the now 18-year-old driver to three-and-a-half years in prison, along with three-and-a-half years of extended supervision.

Although this sentencing does not bring back the life of the 52-year-old man who was tragically killed because of negligence, it may offer some comfort to a family still grieving for their loss.

Sources:, "Felix Ruiz gets prison time for causing fatal run hit-and-run crash," Jan. 11, 2013, "Brothers formally charged in Green Bay fatal hit-and-run crash," Aug. 29, 2012

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