Trial date set for Dylan Buessing, former Merced deputy charged with hit-and-run, lying to police

A January trial date was set Tuesday for a former Merced County deputy sheriff charged with leaving the scene of a crash last year and lying to police.

Dylan J. Buessing, 26, has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor counts of hit-and-run and giving false information to officers, as well as a traffic infraction for running a stop sign in a crash Oct. 30, 2012, according to Merced County Superior Court records.

Judge John D. Kirihara scheduled the trial to begin Jan. 7, according to court records.

At the time of the crash, Buessing was employed as a full-time deputy sheriff, but was off-duty and driving a private vehicle. He is no longer employed at the sheriff’s department, authorities have said.

According to a Merced Police Department report, a light pole was knocked down at the intersection of East Childs Avenue and Campus Parkway in Merced by the driver of a white Ford F-250 pickup truck, causing about $3,000 in damage.

Buessing initially told officials he was on his phone when he ran a stop sign and lost control of the vehicle while turning onto Campus Parkway. He later told officers he took two Vicodin pills about 45 minutes before the collision and fell asleep at the wheel, the report states.

Buessing said he awoke as the truck turned onto Campus Parkway, overcorrected and veered onto the sidewalk, striking the light pole, and said he left the scene because he did not want to be arrested for driving under the influence, according to the report.

Buessing’s employment with the Sheriff’s Department ended Oct. 9. Citing personnel laws, officials have been unable to say whether there is any connection between Buessing’s criminal charges and his departure from the Sheriff’s Department.