SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man who crashed a car in Paradise Hills, causing fatal injuries to one of his four passengers, was sentenced Friday to five years of probation.
Eduardo Douglas Jones, 20, pleaded guilty earlier this year to vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run counts in connection with the Sept. 23, 2020, death of 18-year-old Johvana Lavoile.
San Diego police said the single-vehicle crash occurred just before 1:45 a.m. near the intersection of Paradise Valley and Munda roads, when Jones failed to negotiate a left turn. The car he was driving veered off the roadway and into a canyon, police said.
Lavoile was taken to Scripps Mercy Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 2:47 a.m.
Jones, who was 18 at the time of the crash, had a .03% blood-alcohol- content, which is below California’s legal driving limit. However, it is above the limit for underage drinkers.
Defense attorney Marie Maloney, who said her client was “devastated” over what happened, told San Diego Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein that Jones was among a group of young people at a party and pressured to drive the group home because he was considered the most sober among them.
She emphasized Jones’ young age, that he was also a brand new driver and had only obtained his driver’s license less than a month prior to the crash.
Jones was arrested by police after he was found hiding in bushes nearby. Maloney, who described Jones as someone who “does not stand up well to peer pressure,” said he only hid because the others in the group suggested he flee the scene.
In granting probation, Goldstein stayed a six-year prison term, which Jones will face if he violates the terms of his probation, which include wearing an alcohol-monitoring device for two years and no consumption of alcohol or drugs.
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