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Driver sentenced to a year in prison for fatally striking spectator during an an illegal street race in Otay Mesa

Jason Clifford Dennell, 29, struck 32-year-old Quarann Lottie of Compton on Oct. 31, 2021 during an illegal street racing event in Otay mesa
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Jason Clifford Dennell, 29, of Littlerock, pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter for fatally striking 32-year-old Quarann Lottie of Compton on Oct. 31, 2021.

A man was sentenced to one year in county jail and two years of probation for fatally striking a spectator during an illegal street race in Otay Mesa last year.

Jason Clifford Dennell, 29, of Littlerock, pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter for fatally striking 32-year-old Quarann Lottie of Compton on Oct. 31, 2021. The crash occurred during an illegal street racing event. 

Authorities say Lottie was standing in a commercial driveway spectating the event on the 8800 block of Kerns Street at about 6 a.m. when a Ford Mustang driven by Dennell lost control and veered off the roadway, also hitting a motorcycle.  

Lottie suffered serious injuries and died at the scene. 

According to reporting from Onscene T.V., Dennell stayed at the scene, where officers arrested him. Police said the driver he was racing sped off. 

San Diego Superior Court Judge Micheal J. Popkins sentenced Dennell on Tuesday to a four-year prison term if he violates his probation terms.

In court, Dennell described the victim as his friend, whose death resulted in his commitment to never race again. 

“I never realized how dangerous this hobby can be,'' Dennell said in a statement to the judge.

Defense attorney, Samantha Greene, said her client cooperated with law enforcement by offering to give his car for use in public outreach to deter others from participating in such races. Green said that Dennell has attempted to warn others about the dangers of illegal street racing. 

Officers responded to a similar racing incident on Oct. 10, 2021, where officers responded to a Ford Mustang one-vehicle crash. Onscene T.V reported that witnesses told police they saw the Mustang moving at speeds he estimated at 120 mph before the accident and saw the driver flee on foot. No injuries were reported in that incident.