Sanger Man Gets Maximum Penalty for Fatal DUI Crash

November 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
A Sanger man convicted of killing three young people in a DUI crash last June ... will spend the next 15-years in prison.32-year old William Rivera received the maximum sentence. His blood alcohol concentration was more than three times the legal limit, at the time of the crash.

William Rivera listened to tearful pleas Tuesday from the parents and loved ones of the victims ? all urging the court to give him the stiffest sentence allowed by law.

Just five months ago, highway patrol officers say Rivera's actions caused the death of 14 year old Vivian Garcia, her 21 year old sister Virginia and their friend 20 year old Francisco Magana. Rivera was driving on the wrong side of Jensen Avenue when officers say he slammed into the Honda Civic.

His blood alcohol content was .25 at the time of the accident. That's more than three times the driving limit.

Rivera's mother asked for mercy. "I give my condolences to the entire family. My son is not a parasite. My son is a human being. He made a mistake. He fell asleep at the wheel," said Christine Miller.

Before he heard his punishment, Rivera offered these words. "I have no right to say sorry to you guys. All I can do is ask for forgiveness, not now but later."

Hours earlier the Fresno County District Attorney announced a new state grant that will fund a DUI prosecuting team to follow through with additional cases. Fresno Police officers will work to get even more impaired drivers off the streets.

Fresno Police Chief Dyer said, "We would not be able to have the success that we have if it wasn't for our partnership with the Fresno County District Attorney's office in getting these individuals prosecuted so they can face the consequences they need to."

Rivera will serve 15 years to life in prison for murder. He will serve an additional six years for a prior child molestation charge.


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