SAPD: Driver accused in fatal hit-and-run wiped down car, told police he hit a deer

Driver was allegedly drinking alcohol by the pool before the incident, affidavit says

Raybert Diaz, 45, has been charged with failure to stop and render aid resulting in a victim’s death. Image: Bexar County Jail (KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – A driver who San Antonio police say struck a man and left him to die on a Northeast Side street has been arrested.

Raybert Diaz, 45, has been charged with failure to stop and render aid resulting in a victim’s death. The crash happened Tuesday night in the 9400 block of Perrin Beitel Road, not far from Wurzbach Parkway and Loop 410.

San Antonio police said he hit 63-year-old John Edward Kearney as he was walking in the southbound lanes. By the time police arrived at the scene, the driver had fled and Kearney had “weak vital signs,” police said.

Kearney was pronounced dead at the scene.

An arrest warrant affidavit has revealed more information about the events leading up to Diaz’s arrest on Friday morning.

A witness told officers that the driver fled the scene in a red Volkswagen sedan and they provided a license plate number. Surveillance footage at a nearby business also confirmed the crash involved a red car, police said.

Kearney’s belongings were scattered along the roadway as well as pieces of the car, like a mirror cap, inner fender and bumper support. The parts had serial numbers on them that revealed they belonged to a 2021 red Volkswagen Jetta.

A person who saw the Jetta and believed it was involved in the hit-and-run called the police and directed officers to an apartment complex in the 3900 block of Perrin Central.

The Jetta that was parked at the complex had a missing mirror cap and inner fender, dents, a broken windshield, and “light material on the hood that could have been skin or fabric from the rucksack” that Kearney was holding at the time the crash occured, the affidavit states.

Through the investigation, police found that the vehicle was registered to Diaz. The affidavit states that officers contacted his employer, Volkswagen of Alamo Heights, and were able to contact Diaz.

Officers met him at his apartment before he was transported to SAPD headquarters for questioning, police said. He later told officers that the damage from his vehicle was the result of hitting a deer, the affidavit states.

Investigators said Diaz stopped the interview process twice and told police that he wanted to speak with his attorney.

Police interviewed residents at the apartment complex and one person told officers that they and Diaz were drinking alcohol at the pool before he left to go to the store Tuesday night, the affidavit states.

The following day, the person noticed the damage to Diaz’s car. Diaz first told the person that he hit a deer, but later said he hit a man because he “was wearing dark clothing,” the affidavit states.

Diaz told the witness that he wiped down the car, investigators said.

Booking records with the Bexar County Jail show Diaz was arrested around 1:30 a.m. Friday. His bond is set at $150,000.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.