A 25-year-old man convicted of killing two construction workers on the 405 Freeway in Torrance while driving under the influence was sentenced to 34 years to life in prison on Friday.
Yocio Jonathan Gomez of Wilmington was found guilty of two felony counts each of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated back in April, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Gomez was driving his Ford Explorer at 90 mph through a construction zone on the freeway in the early morning hours of July 22, 2012 when he rear-ended another SUV, which fatally struck 56-year-old Ramon Lopez and 58-year-old Ricardo Zamora, the DA’s Office stated. A third person was also injured in the collision.
Gomez’s blood alcohol level was .21 — nearly three times the legal limit — at the time of the crash, prosecutors said.
“The people at the party who were your friends begged you, pleaded with you not to get in the car, not to drive. You ignored them,” Judge Steven R. Sicklen said.
Gomez had been convicted of drunk driving twice before, and was still on probation at the time of the collision.
Before he was sentenced, family members of the victims spoke out in the Torrance courtroom.
“Because of you, our lives are damaged and they will never be the same,” Renee Roy, Zamora’s daughter, said through tears. “Because you had no regard for human life.”
Maureen Lopez, the daughter of Ramon Lopez, said that her father was all that she and her family had left after her mom died several years before.
“I hope you dream everyday of the night you took our father and Rick’s life. Not to dwell on it, but to remember every day of your mistake,” she said.
Gomez appeared emotionless throughout his sentencing, and family members said he never once showed any remorse during the trial.
After the family’s emotional statements, the judge asked Gomez if he wanted to say anything.
He simply responded, “No.”