Miami Teen Accepted the Terms of a 14-year Sentence, Responsible for a Fatal Crash That Claimed Four Lives While Driving His Mother's Suv
Image Source: Yahoo News

Miami Teen Accepted the Terms of a 14-year Sentence, Responsible for a Fatal Crash That Claimed Four Lives While Driving His Mother’s Suv

A 16-year-old teen, who was driving his mother’s SUV with a learner’s license, tragically collided with a much smaller car at a tremendous speed of 111 miles per hour, which resulted in the loss of four innocent lives.

As a consequence of this, the teenager has confirmed a plea deal that will see him sentenced to 14 years in prison. 

The catastrophic accident took place in the early morning of New Year’s Day in 2021. The collision between the Chevy Tahoe that was being driven by the young driver, Alex Garcia, and the Hyundai Lantra it struck was too forceful that both vehicles drifted for near about 300 feet.

Though the passenger in Hyundai was wearing a seatbelt, he was fatally ejected and hurtled through the front window due to an intense strike. 

The extremity of the accident not only left the family members in a devastated situation but also led to an out-of-the-ordinary decision by the Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Lody Jean, who decided it to be necessary to keep the teen in custody before the trials, deeming him a threat to the community. This was an unprecedented move, though the teenager had no prior criminal record.

The fierce crash claimed the lives of four young individuals that includes Yuhlia Gelats, her 22-year-old boyfriend Christian Mohip, and their friends Andreas Zacharias and Jenser Salazar, both 21. On the day of the accident, Gelats had taken on the responsibility of being the designated driver for her friends. Apparently, Garcia and his two friends in the SUV admirably survived the accident.

It had been disclosed by the prosecutors that Gracia had consumed alcohol and marijuana before the collision, although the test taken 2 hours after the accident showed an alcohol level below the legal limit and also it was not possible to ascertain the exact time when he had smoked marijuana.

After legal proceedings, Garcia agreed on a plea that led him to a 14-year prison sentence which also includes 2 years of house arrest and eight years of probation after he gets released from prison.

Also, after the accident, he spent three weeks in Juvenile Detention before being transferred to the Turner Guilford Knight Correction Center, where he was tried as an adult. His appeal for release was denied, leading him to be held in Jail since early February 2021.

According to the prosecutors based on Miami Herald, after playing video games with his friends at his residence, subsequently, after 3 a.m., Garcia left the house in an SUV to drop two of his friends at home.

He was driving recklessly at a speed of 111 miles per hour along West Flagler Street, their action also caught the attention of Miami-Dade Police Officer Britney Lozado, who was patrolling on Flagler in the opposite direction. She tried to stop the speeding SUV but she was unable to prevent the tragic crash at the 79th Avenue Intersection.

Officer Lozado quickly responded and rushed to the scene of the accident. She soon realized she will be of no help to the victims in Hyundai, so she approached the Tahoe and found Gracia and his two passengers still trapped inside.

Her body-worn camera captured the remorseful moment of Hracia apologizing to his friends. 

During a pre-trial hearing, the lead investigator in the case, Florida Highway Patrol Cpl. Christine Gracey disclosed that Garcia’s mother had come to the crash site and admitted to providing her son with the keys to the SUV, also allowing him to sit in the vehicle and listen to music. 

“She said she provided the keys so he could sit in the car and listen to music,” Gracey said.

With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.