Man sentenced to 3 years in prison in DUI crash that killed local school teacher


A man who hit and killed a pregnant local teacher, while driving under the influence, was sentenced to three years in prison.

John Hernandez, 23, was found guilty of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

In 2017, Hernandez swerved into oncoming traffic and hit beloved teacher Gabriella Soto. She was seven months pregnant with a baby girl.

Soto was driving home from teaching summer school classes when she was struck by Hernandez on Santa Fe Way in Shafter.

At the sentencing, Soto’s family talked about their loss and asked that leniency not be given to Hernandez.

“My sister Gabby and niece were never given leniency by his choice,” Soto’s sister said. “Their lives were ripped away without any consideration of consequence.”

During the trial, jurors were not told Soto was pregnant because Hernandez could not be charged with the unborn baby’s death.

Soto and her baby girl, who was going to be named Alba, were buried together.

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