Driver charged with vehicular manslaughter for US-20 crash takes plea agreement and will be sentenced - East Idaho News

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Driver charged with vehicular manslaughter for US-20 crash takes plea agreement and will be sentenced

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RIGBY — A man who caused a fatal crash last year will not go to trial and will instead be sentenced in March.

Alonso Hernandez-Garcia, 19, of Mattawa, Washington, is charged with felony vehicular manslaughter for a crash that happened on U.S. Highway 20 that left a Rexburg man dead on Aug. 11. The man was identified as Broc Wade Stoddard, 22.

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The charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison, a $10,000 fine, and a $5,000 compensatory fine.

Back in October, Hernandez-Garcia pleaded not guilty. He was originally scheduled for a jury trial on Feb. 20 at the Jefferson County courthouse.

However, he signed a plea agreement earlier in January, according to court records.

In the plea agreement, it says the defendant agrees to plead guilty to vehicular manslaughter. At the time of sentencing, the State will recommend an imposed sentence of no more than five years fixed and five years indeterminate. It says the defendant can argue for any sentence he deems appropriate.

It additionally says Hernandez-Garcia agrees to pay the estate of Stoddard — a $5,000 compensatory fine.

Hernandez-Garcia is scheduled to be sentenced on March 25 at 3:30 p.m. at the Jefferson County courthouse.

Alonso Hernandez Garcia 1
Alonso Hernandez-Garcia | Jefferson County Jail

Background

On Aug. 11, Hernandez-Garcia was driving east on U.S. Highway 20 when he lost control of his vehicle, according to Idaho State Police. He drove through the median and into westbound traffic, crashing head-on into a Nissan. This happened by mile-marker 320 near the south Rigby exit.

The driver of the Nissan, Stoddard, died at the scene of the accident. Hannah Britton, 24, was a passenger in the vehicle.

She was rushed to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls by ambulance, then flown by air ambulance to the University of Utah Hospital in Salt Lake City due to the extent of her injuries.

Click here to read her recovery story.

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A witness of the crash told an ISP trooper the Honda – which Hernandez-Garcia had been driving – had passed her traveling eastbound on US-20 at speeds over 90 mph. Court documents said the speed limit in the area is 70 mph.

According to evidence on the road and witness statements, “the Honda failed to maintain its designated lane by going through the median and into oncoming eastbound traffic,” court documents said. That’s when the Honda impacted the Nissan, causing the fatality.

Correction: A previous version of this article misstated the maximum sentence possible based on information in court documents. The article has been updated based on Idaho Code. EastIdahoNews.com apologizes for the error.

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