TORRANCE (CBSLA.com) — The man convicted in a 2012 fatal DUI crash that killed two construction workers on the 405 Freeway was sentenced Friday to two consecutive life sentences.
Yocio Jonathan Gomez of Wilmington must serve at least 34 years in prison before he’s even considered for parole.
A jury found Gomez guilty of two counts each of second-degree murder, a DUI causing injury, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving with a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit of .08 percent with two prior offenses.
Gomez had just left a party at a friend’s house where several people, including his mother, reportedly begged him not to drive.
Authorities said just before 3:30 a.m. July 22, 2012, Gomez drove his Ford Explorer more than 90 mph through a construction zone.
Gomez’s vehicle overturned but not before he rear-ended an SUV that struck and killed two construction workers, identified as Ramon Lopez, 56, of Chino Hills and Richardo Zamora, 58, of Winchester. A third worker, Angel Mendoza, had minor injuries.
At sentencing, relatives of both of the men killed lashed out at Gomez and asked Judge Steve Sicklen to impose the maximum sentence.
Sicklen sentenced Gomez to 30 years to life for the deaths of Lopez and Zamora and an additional four years for the injuries that Mendoza sustained.
CBS2’s Art Barron said that Gomez never acknowledged the family members while they made emotional impact statements.
They said they wanted Gomez, 25, to hear about the pain he has caused both families.
“I will never be able tell him how much I loved him and how important he was to me,” said Rene Zamora, Ricardo’s daughter.
“I luckily will always have the strength that my parents have left me with. The gift of their strength will allow me to get up every day and provide for my family,” said Maureen Lopez, Ramon’s daughter.
“I don’t know if we can ever find the strength to forgive you,” said Gloria Lopez, another of Ramon’s daughters, “but we will never forget the pain you caused us.”
Zamora’s widow, Gloria, told Barron the family appreciated the sentence from the judge.
“To us, we were real happy with that,” she said. “He deserved that.”
After Gomez serves 34 years of his sentence, he will be eligible for parole but conceivably, reported Barron, could spend the rest of his life behind bars.