A hit-and-run driver who ran off after crashing an SUV into a tree in Brea, killing an 18-year-old friend, has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
Garrett Kyle Martin, 20, of Brea, had been seen drinking in a hot tub gathering before the crash.
He pleaded guilty to gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run with permanent injury, both felonies, and admitted a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Walker.
Part of the plea deal hammered out by Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert Fitzgerald included resolving two infractions, as well as a misdemeanor trespass charge and a felony vandalism count that was knocked down to a misdemeanor, Walker said of the court proceedings Thursday.
Martin crashed a 2002 Ford Explorer into a tree at Tamarack Avenue and Atlas Street about 11:20 p.m. on Aug. 2, 2014. Witnesses told police the driver ran away from the crash, according to Brea police Lt. Darrin Devereux.
Martin’s passenger, Brandon Wupuy, died of his injuries the following day.
Prior to the crash, Martin had been seen drinking with others in a hot tub at a residence, Walker said. But because he fled the scene, investigators were unable to determine his blood-alcohol level at the time of the crash, the prosecutor said.
–City News Service