Garrett Harris 10:11 p.m., May 23
John Francis Sudac Jr. was sentenced to four years and eight months today for vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing death, in connection with a night-time freeway crash three years ago, January 2009. Sudac had been free on bail since the fatal collision, and then was taken into custody after a three-week trial in May 2011.
Yine Gonzalez was 24 years old and pregnant and was the front seat passenger in a Ford Explorer that was struck from behind by Sudac’s Nissan. The woman and her baby did not survive the violent tumble down the freeway. The case was a sensation in San Diego because the offending driver fled and Marine passersby joined together to push the over-turned vehicle off the crushed woman.
The District Attorney’s office did not bring any charges for the unlawful killing of a fetus in this case.
In the Vista Superior Courthouse today, widowed husband Vinicio Jiminez read aloud letters from his daughter – the child had addressed these to her deceased mother. “This is what she wrote in her therapy,” the father explained. The child was 5 years old and seated in the back of the Explorer that her father was driving when the collision occurred.
Private defense attorney Herb Weston requested that his client “do his time at fire camp,” and Judge Runston Maino said he would recommend it because he found the defendant “not a danger to anyone” and that he would not “run away.”