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Man sentenced in connection with double-fatal crash

A California man was sentenced to one year of imprisonment and three years of probation on Sept. 19 after he entered a plea of no contest in connection with a rear-end collision in which two women died. The distracted driving accident happened around 5:20 p.m. on March 15 in Santa Rosa.

The 30-year-old man was driving a pickup truck when he allegedly looked at his cellphone to read a text. Soon after this, he rear-ended a sedan that was slowing for traffic. The two back-seat passengers in the sedan, a 53-year-old woman and her 74-year-old mother-in-law, died in the car crash. The younger woman's 54-year-old husband and his 74-year-old father were in the front seat. The older man reportedly suffered major injuries.

At a preliminary hearing on June 26, an officer told the court that when the pickup truck driver had briefly looked at his cellphone before returning his eyes to the road, he was unable to slow down to avoid the collision. The defendant was reportedly traveling around 50 mph when he ran into the sedan.

The trial for the pickup truck driver was scheduled to begin on Aug. 29 for two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, but he pleaded no contest on Aug. 20 in exchange for a reduced sentence, which he started serving right away. His lawyer also says that he was sentenced to 300 hours of public service and is involved in the End Distracted Driving program.

Families whose loved ones who are killed in car crashes are often left with emotional and financial stress. They may choose to seek financial recovery through wrongful death claims. Survivors might find that a lawyer can make this claims process less stressful and help families build a stronger case for compensation.

Source: CBS San Francisco , "Santa Rosa Distracted Driver Sentenced To Year In Jail For Crash That Killed 2; Could Be Released In December", September 19, 2014

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