Driver pleads guilty in crash that killed 2, injured 2 others: Pedro Sainz admitted to driving drunk

Sainz sentenced to 14 years in prison

SAN DIEGO - A motorist who drank 17 beers before triggering a Mountain View-area freeway pileup that killed a Las Vegas couple and seriously injured two other people pleaded guilty Tuesday to gross vehicular manslaughter and was immediately sentenced to 14 years in state prison.

Pedro Antonio Sainz, 29, also admitted allegations of hit-and-run and multiple victims in connection with the June 10, 2012, pileup that took the lives of 66-year-old Ramiro Aguilar and his 47-year-old wife Bertha.

At an earlier hearing, Deputy District Attorney Kristen Spieler said the defendant drank 17 beers at a bar before getting behind the wheel and losing control of his car, which collided with the Aguilars' 2005 Toyota Matrix on northbound Interstate 805 around 2:30 a.m.

The Matrix -- with the Aguilars and their 13-year-old son inside -- overturned and rolled several times before coming to rest in the middle of the freeway, just south of Imperial Avenue.

Sainz pulled over to the right shoulder, got out and ran off, while other motorists stopped to help the Aguilars.

Moments after the couple's son was extricated from the crumpled Matrix hatchback, a 1997 Toyota Tacoma truck plowed into it, ejecting Ramiro Aguilar and his wife onto the roadway.

A motorcyclist then crashed his 2007 Yamaha YZF while trying to avoid the overturned Matrix.

Bertha Aguilar died at the scene and her husband died at a hospital about eight hours later. Their teenage son was not injured.

The driver of the Tacoma, 27-year-old Fernando Guzman, was treated at a hospital for moderate injuries.

The motorcyclist, Robert Landa, received two broken bones in his neck and other injuries, including broken ribs.

In court Tuesday, Landa criticized Sainz for running from the accident scene.

"You were a coward that day," Landa said. "Anybody that causes an accident that kills two people, you should stay there. Be a man about it; you messed up. Stay there since you caused the accident."

Outside court, Landa said justice was not done because nothing can bring back the couple who died.

"It's not going to bring the kid's parents back, it's not going to heal my bones, it's not going to change anything," Landa told reporters. "It doesn't really make a difference, to be honest with you."

Sainz, when arrested two days after the crash at his San Diego home, admitted drinking and that he shouldn't have been driving.


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