Fiery crash leads to misdemeanor charge, three lawsuits, bad memories

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There's a man dead, only a misdemeanor charge, at least three lawsuits and some fiery memories of a four-car pileup on Highway 43. (KFSN)

There's a man dead, only a misdemeanor charge, at least three lawsuits and some fiery memories of a four-car pileup on Highway 43.

The woman blamed for killing a correctional officer almost exactly two years ago disappeared for quite some time, but police recently found her.

Arthur Lara didn't stand a chance when a wrong-way driver crashed head-on into his car on Highway 43 near the Fresno and Kings County line. But as the state correctional officer died in the driver's seat, his 3-year-old son -- the baby held by his father in a photo from happier times -- was still alive. And as a fire spread from one car to the next in that four-car pileup, witnesses pulled the boy from his child seat. Two years later, Isaiah Lara is back to normal, at least physically.

"He made remarkable progress with respect to his injuries, but he still has nightmares about driving or riding in cars," said Karen Lynch, an attorney representing Isaiah and his mother in a civil lawsuit.

Vikki Robinson was driving the Lexus you see smashed into Lara's Mazda. She walked away from the crash and after a short hospital stay, disappeared from the radar. Prosecutors eventually filed a misdemeanor manslaughter case against her, but when she skipped court, a judge issued a warrant for her arrest and specifically mentioned she had been evading authorities.

Months later, police found her at a Northwest Fresno apartment complex, but they won't find her there again. When Action News tried to track her down, we found an eviction notice and neighbors who said she moved out.

Investigators say there's no evidence the former prostitute was under the influence at the time of the crash. They believe she might've fallen asleep at the wheel. An attorney for Lara's family says they wish she'd wake up to the pain she's still inflicting on them.

"There's been no atonement, no remorse shown, no cooperation with the police at the accident scene or later on and that would've gone a long ways to helping the family heal," Lynch said. "And at this point, it's going to be a lifelong struggle."

Robinson is scheduled to finally enter a plea in the criminal case in April 2015, more than two years after the crash. She's also facing at least three civil lawsuits from crash victims.

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crimetrackertraffic fatalitiestraffic accidentcar accidentcar crashcrashaccidentlawsuitmanslaughterFresno County
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