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April 20, 2014

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Driver sentenced to up to 80 years in prison for killing 4 in crash at bus stop

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Christopher DeVargas

Jessica Amaya speaks to the court during the sentencing of Gary Lee Hosey Jr. at the Regional Justice Center, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. Amaya’s brother Gerber Ayala-Tomasino Jr. was killed when a car driven by Hosey crashed into a bus stop in September 2012.

Updated Friday, Nov. 1, 2013 | noon

Gary Hosey Sentencing

Gary Lee Hosey Jr. appears in court at the Regional Justice Center for Sentencing, Friday, Nov. 1, 2013. Hosey was the driver of a car that crashed into a bus stop and killed four while injuring eight in September 2012. Launch slideshow »

Bus Stop Crash Memorial

An evidence marker Launch slideshow »

Gary Lee Hosey Jr. Makes Initial Appearance

Gary Lee Hosey Jr., the suspected driver of the car that crashed into the bus stop on Spring Mountain Road Thursday, enters the courtroom for an initial appearance at the Regional Justice Center Monday, Sept. 17, 2012. Four people died and eight were injured in the accident. Launch slideshow »

A wreck last year that killed four people at a bus stop was a tragedy for all involved, including the driver, who was sentenced today to 24 to 80 years in prison, his lawyer said.

The sister of one of Gary Lee Hosey Jr.’s victims agreed.

Jessica Amaya, sister of Gerber Ayala-Tomasino Jr., 24, told Hosey she asked to speak at his sentencing in Clark County District Court because she wanted Hosey to know her family understood he didn’t mean to kill her brother and they know Hosey was sorry. Amaya also said she understood Hosey’s family was suffering because of what happened.

“I’m sorry that this is happening to you,” Amaya said to Hosey, 25, about his sentence. “I’m sorry that my brother got lost.”

Still, Amaya said, even though a deadly crash wasn’t Hosey’s intention, intent didn’t change what happened — he could have chosen to take a taxi instead of getting behind the wheel.

Edward Kane, one of Hosey’s public defenders, said Hosey had written letters to the families of his four victims.

Hosey, who pleaded guilty Aug. 23 to five counts of driving under the influence and causing death or substantial physical harm, told the court he was remorseful and there wasn’t a lot he could say about what had happened.

“It was an accident,” Hosey said. “I am sorry for what I did. I didn’t mean to do that.”

Several members of the Hosey family also were present in the courtroom.

District Judge Jennifer Togliatti noted she had received a “volume of letters” speaking highly of Hosey from his family and friends.

Hosey’s sentence is one of the longer ones for DUI offenses, Deputy District Attorney Brian Rutledge said, noting prosecutors only agreed to a plea deal in the case because Hosey owned up to his actions and showed remorse.

Hosey lost control of his Chevrolet Monte Carlo on the morning of Sept. 13 and crashed into a bus stop at Spring Mountain Road east of Decatur Boulevard.

Four people waiting at the stop were killed: Ayala-Tomasino; Johnni Garner, 49; Margoth Gonzalez, 65; and Hyon Cooley, 47. Hosey, four passengers in his car and three other people at the bus stop also were injured. One of the injured people waiting at the bus stop was paralyzed and another suffered permanent brain damage, according to Rutledge.

The tragedy occurred about 6:25 a.m., one minute before the scheduled arrival of Bus 203, which traverses a route 25 times a day along Spring Mountain, Desert Inn Road and Lamb Boulevard.

An employee of a nearby Jack in the Box told the Sun after the incident that when he heard the accident occur, he thought a bomb had detonated.

The Monte Carlo had “taken down” the whole bus stop, he said, describing how he saw four bodies on the sidewalk by the Carl’s Jr. restaurant with blood all along the street, sidewalk and on a light pole.

“The carnage was extensive in this case,” Rutledge told the Sun after Hosey pleaded guilty in August, noting the agreement was fair. “He obviously didn’t intend to kill and permanently disable people, but he did intend to drink, and he intended to smoke marijuana, and then he made the decision to drive.”

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