One of two motorists involved in a crash that killed a 16-year-old high school baseball player and seriously injured his father was sentenced Tuesday to 11 years in state prison.
Darryl Leander Hicks Jr., 32, was convicted in January, along with co-defendant Tung Ming, of one felony count each of gross vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving causing injury or death in connection with the March 7, 2017, crash that took the life of South High School student Jesse Esphorst Jr.
Hicks was also found guilty of hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person and hit-and-run driving resulting in specified injury, along with one misdemeanor count each of hit-and-run driving causing property damage — involving an earlier crash into Ming’s vehicle — and driving on a suspended license, according to Deputy District Attorney Ryan Gould.
Jurors also found true allegations that Hicks fled the scene of the deadly crash.
Ming, 24, of Rancho Palos Verdes, was sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison in June.
A 2004 Audi A6 driven by Hicks — who lived in Los Angeles at the time — and a 2014 Mercedes-Benz GLK350 driven by Ming were northbound on Crenshaw Boulevard when both drivers failed to stop for a red light. The cars crashed into the Esphorsts’ 2000 Toyota Sienna, which was turning left from southbound Crenshaw Boulevard to eastbound Crest Road about 10 that night, according to Torrance police.
The Audi and Mercedes-Benz had been involved in a minor collision, and Ming was chasing Hicks when they ran the red light, and both cars hit the Toyota minivan, police said.
Hicks fled northbound on Crenshaw and Ming stayed at the scene. Investigators said the Audi was located nearby a short time later, unoccupied.
Ming was arrested that morning, then released later that day on bond. Hicks was arrested two days after the crash, and released a day later on bond.
Both men were ordered to be taken into custody after the jury’s verdict.
The teen and his father had been on their way home after having dinner with the boy’s grandmother, according to baseball coach Grady Sain.
A day after the crash, the team gathered on the diamond around the teen’s shortstop position, and that afternoon, about 750 current and former students, coaches and faculty members filled the South High field in his honor.
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