A man who drove drunk and struck and killed a Lyft driver was sentenced Thursday to 16 years in state prison.
Steven Quintero, 26, was convicted in April of a DUI causing injury, hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license. That jury and another in July deadlocked on a second-degree murder charge, leading Judge Amalia Maza to declare mistrials both times.
An expert testified during the retrial that Quintero — who had a prior DUI conviction from 2015 — had a blood-alcohol content between 0.12 and 0.18 percent at the time of the crash.
Prosecutors charged Quintero in the death of 41-year-old Lyft driver Henry Reyes. According to testimony, Reyes picked up three passengers on the night of Oct. 1, 2016, and stopped on the shoulder of Route 94, near 28th Street, to assist one of the passengers, Sarah Smith, who got sick in the car.
Quintero then struck the car from behind, killing Reyes as he walked around the front of the car. Quintero fled the scene but was later arrested at a nearby apartment complex.
Reyes’ sister, Yvette Rous, and the three passengers — Smith, Kelly Hoffman and Jessica Techel — delivered statements prior to the sentencing. Smith, Hoffman and Techel held back tears as each described their injuries in the crash.
Rous described Reyes as a loving brother and father to a 2-year-old son, telling how Reyes taught her to ride a bike and drive a car.
“My heart has not healed and I know it never will,” Rous said.
— City News Service
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