Hit-and-Run Driver Suspected of Forcing Man Off Highway 33 Arrested in Southern California

PATTERSON -- Months after a Patterson man was forced off the road along Highway 33 and left to die, police have arrested the driver who swerved into his lane.

It was the phone call Debra Davis has waited 68 days for.

"He said, 'I have good news,' and I started crying," Davis told FOX40. "Uncontrollable."

With help from U.S. marshals in Southern California, the Modesto California Highway Patrol arrested Philip Jimenez, 34, of Whittier. He was booked on suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run. The CHP says he was driving on a suspended license for driving under the influence.

"Not only a relief for me but for all of our children," said Keely Comparin. "They would be constantly sending me pictures, 'Is it this one? Is it this one? I followed this one. My friend sent me a picture of this one.'"

Fifty-nine-year-old Saul Davis, Comparin's father and Debra's husband of 31 years, died on March 29.

The CHP says Jimenez, in his white Chevrolet Tahoe, crossed into Saul's path on Highway 33, forcing Saul to lose control of his vehicle and crash into a pole. They say Jimenez never stopped to help.

In the months that would follow, CHP investigators used good old-fashioned police work, eventually identifying the SUV through surveillance at businesses where they identified Jimenez from a sales receipt.

"Imagine the weight on that teenager's shoulders, worrying about what vehicle is passing them and is that the person that killed my grandfather?" Comparin said.

"Very grateful for the CHP, for the investigation. They did a great investigation," said Debra Davis' sister, Denise Meier.

For the first time in months, the family is able to breathe and sleep easier. But the turbulent months that followed his death were something Debra Davis said her husband, an Air Force veteran, tried to prepare her for.

"He'd always believe he'd go before me and so he always talked to me about moving on. And I'd laugh at him and tell him, 'It took me 31 years to train you. I'm not starting over,'" she recalled.

"I hear his voice everywhere I go," Comparin said. "He never left anything unsaid and I'm really grateful for that."

His 14-year-old granddaughter, Morgan Snyder, along with the rest of his loved ones, believe Saul is now at peace knowing the one responsible for taking him from his family is now behind bars.

"Watching us, being thankful," Snyder said.

"I know he's with me. He'll always be with me," Debra Davis said.

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