Yorba Linda Vietnam War veteran struck, killed; driver arrested

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Authorities have arrested a driver accused of striking and killing a 70-year-old Vietnam War veteran in Yorba Linda over the weekend. (KABC)

Authorities have arrested a driver accused of striking and killing a 70-year-old Vietnam War veteran in Yorba Linda over the weekend.

Jody Shane Guerrero, 37, was arrested and booked on Saturday for suspicion of drunk driving, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. Guerrero was held on $1 million bail.

Officials said the crash happened at 7:30 p.m. that night near Fairmont Boulevard and Lorca Lane.

Paramedics rushed Gregory Gillaspy to Orange County Global Medical Center in Santa Ana, where he died from his injuries at 8:35 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

The victim's wife, Betty Gillaspy, said she drove by the crime scene about a mile from her home, but she didn't think much of it until she got a call from the hospital.
Betty Gillaspy was out that night looking for her husband because he hadn't been back from his normal walk.

"She said, 'It's really bad.' I thought, 'Oh my God, that's him I saw on the street,'" she said.

Betty Gillaspy shared stories about the Navy veteran and his commitment to helping others, especially other veterans.

Gregory Gillapsy was well known for his work to honor service men and women, and pushing to add "In God we trust" to city council chambers across the county.

"To remind those people to be honest, that God was going to be there, and what they were doing he would be overseeing," Betty Gillaspy said.

A small memorial was already seen set up near the crash site to honor the beloved victim.

His wife of 58 years said she just misses being around him.

"We did all these events together, and he was always looking at things for us to do," she said. "We never lacked for activity."

Guerrero also faces a murder charge because of a prior DUI conviction. The suspect is due for his first court appearance Tuesday.

A GoFundMe page was set up by members of the Gillaspy family. To donate, visit https://www.gofundme.com/4dygff5g.

City News Services contributed to this report.
Related Topics:
newspedestrian struckman killedveteranDUIarrestYorba LindaOrange County
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