24 to 80 years for driver in Vegas bus stop crash

AP News
Posted: Nov 01, 2013 7:01 PM
24 to 80 years for driver in Vegas bus stop crash

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A 25-year-old man was sentenced Friday to 24 to 80 years in prison for a drunken driving crash that killed four people and injured several others last year at a Las Vegas bus stop.

Clark County District Judge Jennifer Togliatti handed down the sentence for Gary Lee Hosey Jr., who pleaded guilty in August to five counts of DUI causing death or substantial bodily harm.

"It was an accident," Hosey said in court Friday, according to the Las Vegas Sun. "I am sorry for what I did. I didn't mean to do that."

The crash on the morning of Sept. 13, 2012, killed Gerber Ayala-Tomasino Jr., 24; Johnni Garner, 49; Margoth Gonzalez, 65; and Hyon Cooley, 47.

A witness told police she saw a 2001 Chevrolet Monte Carlo traveling at what appeared to be more than 100 mph when it bottomed out crossing a dip at an intersection and veered into the crowded regional transit bus stop.

"The carnage was extensive in this case," Chief Deputy District Attorney Brian Rutledge said at a hearing in August.

Hosey, four passengers in his car and three other people at the stop were hurt. The injured included one person who was paralyzed and another who suffered permanent brain damage.

A criminal complaint alleges Hosey's blood-alcohol level exceeded the legal limit of 0.08 percent at the time. The complaint also claims he had more marijuana in his blood than the law allows.

"When you combine alcohol and marijuana, the effects are multiplicative," Rutledge said in August. "It's much worse than twice as bad because of the way the two substances interact. You are greatly impaired if you mix marijuana and alcohol."

Hosey's lawyers questioned field sobriety tests administered to him as well as the results.

Hosey told police he remembered the vehicle becoming airborne but didn't recall hitting the bus shelter or pedestrians. He later told police he had one beer at a bar and was hurrying home so his girlfriend could get to work by 7 a.m. The car belonged to his girlfriend.

Hosey has written letters to the families of his four victims, according to one of his public defenders, Edward Kane.

Jessica Amaya, the sister of victim Ayala-Tomasino, said in court that the family understands Hosey didn't intend to kill her brother.

"I'm sorry that this is happening to you," Amaya said, according to the Sun. "I'm sorry that my brother got lost."