A Santa Ana man was sentenced Monday to three years in prison — the amount of time he’d already served before pleading guilty to charges stemming from a hit-and-run collision that killed a motorcyclist.
Luis Eduardo Distance, 48, pleaded guilty May 6 to a felony count of hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury and two misdemeanors — vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and driving on a suspended license.
Distancia was credited for 1,096 days in jail, so he has already served the sentence that was handed down by an Orange County Superior Court judge.
Distancia was behind the wheel of a 2006 Ford Econoline van that struck the motorcyclist, 36-year-old Eduardo Cesar Estrada Luevano, about 4:45 p.m. on March 17, 2017. According to Santa Ana police and prosecutors, the motorist failed to yield the right-of-way when making a left-hand turn at Standard Avenue and Walnut Street, and took off after the crash.
Police put out a request for help in tracking him down, which led to his arrest about 10 days later.
Luevano’s daughter, Angela, said in a victim impact statement that she continues to find it difficult to accept her father’s death.
“I still don’t know how to process that idea of him never coming back home,” she said.
Luevano’s daughter noted how her father has missed many of her milestones, such as her first day of high school and her quinceanera celebration.
“I was really excited to have a father-and-daughter dance, yet, sadly I wasn’t going to be able to experience that because my dad wasn’t there anymore,” she said, adding that after a moment of silence for him, her mother stepped in for the dance.
“Not having my dad made a real effect on all of my siblings, as well as my mom,” she said. “She was so strong that she went through that pain on her own… and tried her best to heal all five of her kids’ pain.”
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