Tampa, FL -- The Pasco Sheriff's deputy involved in a head-on hit-and-run yesterday is out of surgery and doing well according to family members who spoke publicly today.
STORY: Deputy hurt in 'horrific' New Year's hit and run crash
A proud but worried mother, Cathy Pollard spoke today about her son, Pasco Deputy Darren Hill. His heart, his determination and his good nature- which was still clearly intact as seen in a hospital room photo released by the family that shows Hill smiling with a "thumbs up".
"He has this sense of humor," said Pollard, "And you can tell he loves what he does."
Both of the 29-year-old deputy's legs and an arm broken in a hit and run accident that took place early yesterday morning in Zephyrhills.
His family says Hill was feeling a bit more comfortable today after surgery.
"And, and to come out so well... I can only thank God," said Pollard.
The family also spoke about Deputy Hill's decision to enter law enforcement, even though he'd majored in computer programming and had already co-produced a popular on-line video game.
"He left California to come back to Florida to go through the police academy with his brother," said Gerald Hill, Deputy Hill's father.
In stark contrast to Hill's dedication to law and justice, the driver who allegedly struck him and took off, Bertin Jaimes, made his first appearance in court today.
The 25-year-old, as well as his brother and his sister-in-law are all accused of conspiring to cover-up the hit-and-run.
All three, say immigration officials, are in this country illegally and will continue to be held by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Only Jaimes's wife, Gladys Soto, who was also charged with obstruction, is a U.S. citizen.
There was no answer today at the Land O' Lakes home belonging to Soto's parents.
It's the same house where she and Jaemis allegedly returned New Year's Eve to keep on partying even as Deputy Hill was fighting for survival.
"I mean they can't feel good about themselves, and I guess I would pray for God to have mercy on them and maybe one day they would find their way," said Pollard.
Deputy Hill still has a long road to recovery ahead of him, including three to four months of intense physical therapy according to family members.
But from his hospital bed, he's already told them it is his goal and his intention to re-join the Pasco Sheriff's Office.
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