A motorist who struck a bicyclist on a rural road east of El Cajon last month, then fled the scene, was sentenced Tuesday to nearly four years in state prison.

Craig Wendell Nelson, 56, of Julian pleaded guilty Friday to a felony charge of hit-and-run causing death.

The defendant was heading east on Dehesa Road near Singing Hills Golf Course when his 1993 Mitsubishi Mirage veered into a bike lane east of Willow Glen Drive and hit Kevin Wilson from behind on Jan. 20 about 10:45 a.m., according to the California Highway Patrol.

Wilson was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where the 56-year-old La Mesa resident was pronounced dead about an hour after the crash, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Nelson kept driving to the east and south before pulling over on Sloane Canyon Road and fleeing on foot, CHP public affairs Officer Travis Garrow said. Officers eventually found the abandoned vehicle, and a helicopter search crew spotted Nelson in a nearby brushy area, Garrow said.

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