Driver sentenced to 11 years in prison for crash that killed 16-year-old Torrance baseball player

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Jesse Esphorst is shown April 13, 2016, during the Pioneer League baseball opener. (Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze)

Jesse Esphorst is shown April 13, 2016, during the Pioneer League baseball opener. (Robert Casillas / Daily Breeze)

One of two drivers found guilty of killing a 16-year-old after running a red light in Torrance three years ago was sentenced Monday to 11 years in state prison, officials said.

Darryl Leander Hicks Jr., 32, of Los Angeles was sentenced after being found guilty in January of one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving on a highway causing injuries and death, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. A jury also found true allegations that Hicks fled the scene.

Hicks was also found guilty of one felony count each of hit-and-run driving resulting in death or serious injury to another person and hit-and-run driving resulting in injury to another person, the DA’s Office said.

Tung Ming, 24, of Rancho Palos Verdes was also convicted of one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter and reckless driving on a highway causing injuries and death. He was sentenced in June to two years and eight months in state prison.

The sentencing is a result of a series of collisions on March 7, 2017, that killed 16-year-old Jesse E. Esphorst and seriously injured his 47-year-old father.

Hicks crashed his 2004 Audi A6 into Ming’s 2014 Mercedes-Benz near Crenshaw Boulevard and Spring Spur Road in Rancho Palos Verdes and fled the scene. Ming then began chasing Hicks and they both ran a red light near Crenshaw Boulevard and Crest Road around 10 p.m.

Both Hicks and Ming ended up colliding into a 2009 Toyota Sienna, carrying the Esphorsts, as it was making a left turn, officials said.

The crash killed the younger Esphorst, who was a sophomore and baseball player at South High School in Torrance. His father, who was driving at the time, was seriously injured and initially hospitalized in an intensive care unit, authorities said.

Hicks then also fled the scene of the fatal crash, the DA’s office said.

The 16-year-old and his father were on their way home from a post-baseball game dinner at the teen’s grandmother’s house when the fatal collision occurred, the baseball team’s coach told the Daily Breeze at the time.

Esphorst had just played in a game hours before his death, the newspaper reported.

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