CHATAN, Okinawa — An Okinawa man has been sentenced to 16 months in prison — suspended for five years — for leaving the scene after his car struck and seriously injured an American in July.

Satoshi Toyama, 21, was sentenced Dec. 21 in Naha Circuit Court in the July 23 hit-and-run that put Marine spouse Erin Harding, 36, in intensive care for several days, prosecutors confirmed Monday. Because the sentence was suspended, Toyama won’t have to serve time behind bars if he stays out of trouble for those five years.

Harding was hit near Camp Foster’s Kitamae Gate while riding her bike at 5 a.m.

She was treated at U.S. Naval Hospital Okinawa on Camp Lester for several serious injuries, including a fractured pelvis, fractured left hip, three fractured vertebrae and a sprained right shoulder. She was later transferred to Naval Medical Center San Diego. Her husband, Maj. Todd Harding, ended his tour on Okinawa early to transfer to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar to be by her side.

According to police, Toyama stopped his car to assist Harding and called for an ambulance. But he left before police arrived at the scene.

Later that night he turned himself in. A charge of hit-and-run was forwarded to the Naha Public Prosecutor’s office a month later; he was never incarcerated. Because a hit-and-run is not considered a heinous crime, the case was not tried by a jury.

Meanwhile, a U.S. soldier suspected of driving the vehicle that killed a 66-year-old man in a hit-and-run accident in November remains restricted to base. Okinawa authorities have yet to file charges against the Torii Station soldier, identified only as a 27-year-old staff sergeant.

Stars and Stripes reporter Travis Tritten contributed to this story.

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