Reckless driver sentenced to 22 years in prison

Posted at 12:03 PM, Jan 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-20 20:07:30-05

Judge Theodore Weathers didn't mince words when sentencing Isaac Luquin.

"Quite frankly, you need to be taken off the streets as long as possible. You're a menace to society, and you deserve these 22 years."

The sentence is part of a plea agreement.

Luquin pleaded guilty to three counts of evading police, causing serious bodily injury and one count of vehicle theft.

The chase and crash happened on May 7, 2015.

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It began early that day with a fight between Luquin and his estranged wife.

At his arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Christina Arrollado told reporters, "He asked for her car and she said, 'No.' He became angry, took her keys and went around the car, pulled her from the driver's seat and tried to force her into the back seat of the car."

She pulled free and walked home before reporting the car stolen. When police later tried to make a stop, Luquin took off.

The police chase ended with the black car that was being pursued nearly demolished and an SUV knocked over onto its side in Otay Mesa.

Firefighters employed the Jaws of Life to cut through the steel to free those trapped inside; a retired police officer and his son.

During a preliminary hearing this past summer, the officer, Wayne Pratt, said the crash changed his life forever.

"I was on the ground, my son was hanging on the seat above me," he said of the terrifying aftermath.

"He had seven cracked ribs, cracks in his right and left pelvis, and cuts to his liver, spleen and kidneys," Pratt said of his son, who also lost 1/3 of his kidney due to blood loss.

Other injuries from the crash included several broken legs, lacerations, and rib fractures.

None of the victims were at sentencing Wednesday at the Chula Vista Courthouse. However, one victim wrote a letter to the judge, asking for the maximum possible sentence.

Before the judge made his ruling, Luquin could only muster a faint apology, saying, "I'm sorry for the pain I caused the victims."

For the rest of his sentencing hearing, he sat quietly, slumped in his chair.

As part of the plea agreement, Luquin has to pay restitution to at least three of the victims, as well as the state victims' restitution fund.

Luquin has two domestic violence convictions, in 2005 and 2015, and one conviction for witness intimidation, dating back to 1998. He also already had a strike on his record.

He won't be eligible for parole until 2034.