'It's not fair': Family of victim of deadly Tulare hit-and-run shocked, disappointed at sentencing

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Saturday, March 19, 2022
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41-year-old Daniel Correa of Visalia was sentenced on Friday to 3 years in prison for a felony hit-and-run, causing death and vehicular manslaughter.

TULARE, Calif. (KFSN) -- The family of a South Valley man killed by a hit-and-run driver is expressing disappointment.

A sentence handed down on Friday has its members feeling justice was not served.

"We felt that there would be some justice here, considering that there was video evidence of what happened," said Aaron Lowe, uncle of Joshua Simmons.

On January 2nd, 41-year-old Simmons was hit and killed while crossing the busy intersection of Bardsley Avenue and Spruce in Tulare.

Lowe says not a day goes by when his family doesn't miss him.

They say Simmons was a gentle giant.

On Friday morning, the man responsible, 41-year-old Daniel Correa of Visalia, was sentenced by Judge Reyes to 3 years in prison for a felony hit-and-run, causing death and vehicular manslaughter, a misdemeanor.

Correa pled guilty to all charges filed against him.

"There was also reference at the court hearing regarding his previous performances when he was sentenced to a mental health court program and there was reference to that and I can represent that he had two prior felony convictions," said Supervising Deputy District Attorney Jessica Weatherly.

Correa's attorney reminded the court that his toxicology report showed he wasn't drunk at the time - although he was taking two medications.

That raises questions for the Simmons family.

"If this person has these mental health issues and takes drugs, why is he driving a car and behind the wheel in the first place?" asked Lowe.

Simmons's mother, sister, and uncle voiced their heartbreak in the courtroom and were shocked to hear the sentence even after Judge Reyes explained why the decision was made.

"Unfortunately this is what it is and we have to move on with our lives. I don't feel good about how this has closed up. It's not fair. Life isn't fair but this certainly is not fair," said Lowe.

Correa's family was also in court. His father says it pains him to see his son's situation and sends his condolences to the Simmons family while they cope with the tragedy as well.