Drunken driver sentenced to 11 years in prison for crash that killed motorcyclist

Kern's Sober Realtiy
Kern's Sober Reality

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A woman who authorities say expressed more concern about her cellphone than a motorcyclist she struck and killed has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

A Superior Court judge on Thursday sentenced Yoanna Aldaz, 26, after she was found guilty of hit and run resulting in injury and pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

A murder charge was dismissed in return for her no contest plea.

Aldaz admitted to drinking three 24-ounce beers and smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel of a minivan the evening of Aug. 26, 2017, according to court filings.

She and a passenger were driving south on South Union Avenue when she made an unsafe left turn and the vehicle left the roadway and hit a sign in the center median, documents said.

The minivan traveled southeast across the northbound lanes of South Union Avenue and collided with a motorcycle.

The bike’s rider, Frank Richards, 46, was pronounced dead an hour later at Kern Medical.

Aldaz and the passenger ran from the crash. California Highway Patrol investigators tracked down the passenger — who had recently bought the minivan — by contacting the vehicle’s previous owner.

The passenger told investigators where Aldaz lived, and they arrested her at her residence, documents said.

Aldaz showed no remorse for the victim, investigators said, but repeatedly asked for her cellphone and said she wanted to get on Facebook.

Her license had been suspended at the time of the crash for a previous drunken driving conviction, according to the documents.

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