DUI Motorist Sentenced to 6 Years In Fatal Crash That Killed Teen

The Bakersfield Californian via Yahoo! News reports that a man convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in a crash that caused the death of a 15-year-old Bakersfield teen was sentenced to six years and six months in prison on Thursday.

According to court documents submitted by the California Highway Patrol, on February, at approximately 7:21 a.m.,18-year-old Timothy Leal was driving a stolen Kia Optima westbound on Irene Street when he blew through a stop sign at the intersection with Alta Vista Drive.

The stolen Kia collided with a pickup truck being driven by an 80-year-old man, the force of the impact sent the pickup truck into a rollover before it came to rest against a home.  

The teen victim in the case was riding as a passenger in the stolen Kia driven by Leal. The teen died at the crash scene despite all life-saving efforts made by first responders and paramedics.

The pickup truck driver was taken to Kern Medical Hospital with only minor injuries.

CHP officers responding to the scene said Leal showed clear signs of intoxication. Leal was taken to an area hospital with significant injuries. He was later arrested and taken into custody on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI, and other related charges.

In addition to the more serious felony charges, the District Attorney’s Office initially charged Leal with DUI causing injury, hit-and-run causing death, stealing a vehicle, willful cruelty to a child, and hit-and-run causing property damage. These charges were dropped in exchange for Leal pleading no contest.

After impact statements made to the court by the victim’s family, and a letter from the 80-year-old pickup truck driver, the judge pronounced Leal’s sentence to begin immediately.

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