The driver who hit and killed five youths returning home after a serenade in July, 2011, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison and his license revoked for five years. The panel of three judges of the Tribunal Penal de San Ramón determined that the driver invaded the opposite lane and was driving beyond a prudent speed (over 40 km/h).
Killed in the accident were: Dennis Méndez Varela, Luis Alonso Solís Briceño, Angie Patricia Miranda Méndez, Iván Elizondo Rodríguez and Joxiny Hidalgo Gamboa.
Several other students, all from Instituto Julio Acosta García de San Ramón, were also injured in the tragedy. Lawyers for the students’ families (also allowed to argue in such a criminal trial) asked the court of 21 years in prison but the prosecutor opted for 15.
The early morning of the tragedy, the students were waiting for breakfast around 5 a.m. when the deadly car swerved into their lane and plowed through the students. Two girls were severely injured and a judged to have 10% and 15% disabilities.
Prosecutor Vanessa Dotti stipulated that the youngsters were negligent in sitting on the road but that this was immaterial to the accident and the driver could have avoided the tragedy.
The accident shocked the little city of San Ramon and will leave scars on its residents for years to come.