JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The driver and sole survivor in a crash that left a group of young people from Jacksonville dead in 2018 was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday.
Action News Jax reported in June 2018, when Isabella Garcia, 19, Cameron Bell, 18, Hayden Raulerson, 20, and Alysia Littlejohn, 20, died after the car they were passengers in collided with a Ford Explorer at the intersection of County Road 340 in Gilchrist County. None of them were wearing seat belts.
Authorities said the group had just left Bob’s River Place in Branford.
Blake Delapaz, who was 19 at the time of the crash, was identified as the car’s driver, according to Florida Highway Patrol.
Troopers said blood tests revealed he was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
In court Wednesday afternoon, Delapaz pleaded no contest to four counts of DUI manslaughter and one count of DUI resulting in serious bodily injury. He was adjudicated guilty, according to court records.
Delapaz’s 15-year sentence will be followed by 5 years of probation and his drivers license is permanently revoked.
Family members of those killed in the crash came to share victim impact statements with the court and spoke with Action News Jax afterward.
“I know forgive is a big word with the Lord, with God; it’s just really hard for me to forgive at this point,” said Robert Garcia, the father of Isabella Garcia. “There was no remorse, not even an apology for nothing. It was like he sat there numb, like he didn’t affect anybody.”
Amber Rollins, Cameron Bell’s sister, said despite the sentence, they still don’t have their loved ones.
“I don’t think you can be happy with any result because the result is the people we love are gone,” Rollins said.
Rollins said Delapaz will have to speak with Mothers Against Drunk Driving in the future.
“We always say if we can save one person in a room full of 150 people, then we win. Cameron wasn’t my one person and I have to live with that now,” she said.
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