Gavin's Law: Bill introduced in honor of beloved Clovis hit-and-run victim

Saturday, February 23, 2019
Gavin's Law: Bill introduced in honor of beloved Clovis hit-and-run victim
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Gavin Gladding's family say the current hit-and-run law incentivizes drivers to flee the scene.

A proposed bill called Gavin's Law was introduced to the State Assembly on Friday.

Gavin Gladding's family believes the current hit-and-run statute lacks teeth.

They say it incentivizes drivers to run away instead of staying behind to help - something that could have saved their son's life.

Five months ago seems like just yesterday for Gavin Gladding's family.

The pain they've suffered is what is propelling them to carry on now.

"I can't describe what we've been through. Everyday I get up and I go and I go, 'Gosh, Gavin's gone, he's still gone'," says Rita Gladding, Gavin's mother.

Gladding's death had an entire community of parents and students in mourning.

For Rita and Gary Gladding, the sentencing of their son's killer, Rogelio Alvarez Maraville, was another stab to the heart.

"The current situation, there is an incentive for one to run. if you give yourself up three or four days later, you are obviously not under the influence. Therefore the penalty is much less," says Gary.

The family is hoping for stiffer punishment under Gavin's Law.

They've been working with Assemblyman Jim Patterson and on Friday, the bill was introduced to the state legislature.

"What we want is to make sure that the penalty for leaving the scene of an accident is similar to vehicular manslaughter," says Assemblymember Jim Patterson (R-Fresno).

Right now, the maximum sentence for a felony hit-and-run is four years.

Maraville was sentenced to three.

"Why? It should have been 100. I'm sorry, it should have been 100 years. There was a fatality," says Rita.

Police say hit-and-run accidents have become an epidemic in Fresno. Gavin's Law hopes to deter that.

Gavin's law was introduced with bipartisan support.

His family says they are optimistic it will pass.

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