Injured deputy, Darren Hill, faces long recovery following hit-and-run crash

Suspect faces immigration trouble

TAMPA - Pasco County Deputy Darren Hill is still inside St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa with more surgery and a long recovery ahead.

His mother lives in Tennessee and couldn't get a flight to Tampa fast enough, so she drove instead.

"When I saw him I was terribly grateful. That's what I felt," said Cathy Pollard.

We are getting a thumbs up from Deputy Hill, seen in a picture taken Thursday, as he recovers from two broken legs, a broken arm and bruised lungs.

His mother is a registered nurse and knows from the look of his cruiser, how much worse it could have been.

"I tell you he looks so much better than he looked last night. He is so much more relaxed," said Pollard.

"One of the things we were worried about was the brain contusions, so it's nice to see him recovering like this," said his father Gerald Hill.

Meanwhile, Bertin Jaimes is charged with the crash and leaving the scene.  He is in jail without bond.  Jaimes could also be in trouble with immigration officials.

Officials tell Action News, he is in the United States illegally and was voluntarily removed twice and sent back to Mexico.

Hill's mother says she actually feels sorry for him.

"I'm sorry you don't have more integrity and that you don't have more compassion. And may God have mercy on you."

Four of Jaimes' family members face obstruction charges.  Investigators say his father-in law, wife, brother and sister-in-law all lied during the investigation.

While they are in jail, Hill will be on the mend for a long time.

His mother says her son is passionate about law enforcement, even though he's a success in the online world, creating a popular game called Flight Rising.

"He loves what he does," said his mother.

Sadly the family went through a similar situation two years ago, when Hill's cousin died in an almost identical head-on crash.

"And to have my son in a head-on collision and come out so well, I can only thank God," said Pollard.

The family says Hill's crash could have been deadly because he had just filled his cruiser with gas. But it did not catch fire.

His mother says she anticipates a full recovery.