FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Just about a week after Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla was released from prison early in the death of Gavin Gladding, the Gladding family and supporters of Gavin's Law cleared a major hurdle Tuesday in getting the necessary votes to move the bill onto the next round of legislation
"That we received a unanimous vote from that committee today, it's frankly pretty overwhelming," says Susan Gladding. "And as I was hearing the vote, it's just very emotional."
Efforts to get Gavin's Law passed have been a journey for the Gladding Family.
Gavin was struck and killed by the 18-year-old Alvarez. He then fled the scene, only to turn himself in days later.
While he was originally sentenced to three years in prison, Alvarez only served one.
Valley Assembly Member Jim Patterson is spearheading the bill to bring harsher penalties for deadly hit and run drivers.
"Instead of calling 911 and being a human being trying to help this person survive and taking the consequences, this individual fled and stayed on the run for almost four days, sobered up and essentially was given a one-year sentence," Patterson said.
Patterson proposed a maximum of eight years in prison but settled for six.
Gavin's Law is now on to the Appropriations Committee next week, then the Assembly floor.
"I will predict that if we can get through Appropriations and to the floor, this assembly will pass this bill and then we will be seeing it over on the Senate side," Patterson said. "The finish line is in sight."
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