Fallbrook woman convicted of hitting, killing bicyclist in 2017 crash

VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — A Fallbrook woman was convicted of negligence for killing a father of four off of Highway 395 near the Pala Mesa Resort in 2017.

Sulem Garcia was on prescription medications when she veered off the road crashing into Paul Burke who was on his bicycle, blocks from his home on May 23, 2017. Garcia's lawyer argued she was exhausted from finishing her finals at Palomar College that day and had been on the prescription medications to treat depression for three years.  

Garcia received the maximum sentence which was one year behind bars.

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More than 60 of Burke's family members and friends were in the courtroom. Burke's wife Laura gave a victim impact statement saying she does not believe that Garcia is remorseful and that the sentencing was a slap on the wrist.  

Burke owned and operated a custom surf shop for more than 40 years. He also worked at Costco.

Burke's daughter and son both spoke at the sentencing hearing.  
 

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