I-70 Wrong Way driver sentenced for Vehicular Homicide while intoxicated
January 9, 2017
Sebastian A. Rivera, 24, of Golden, Colorado, was sentenced today by Chief Judge Mark Thompson, Summit County District Court, to eight years (six years for Vehicular Homicide/Reckless Driving and two years consecutive for Vehicular Assault/Reckless Driving) in the Department of Corrections for the April 13, 2016, fatal head-on collision where his 2010 Audi A4 sedan hit another vehicle.
Defendant Rivera also was sentenced for Driving While Ability Impaired to six-months in the Summit County jail.
Rivera was driving on I-70 eastbound in the westbound lane just before midnight, between Frisco and Copper Mountain exits when he collided head-on with the victim’s car. The front seat passenger in the victim's vehicle was pronounced dead at the scene, and the driver of the victim's vehicle was seriously injured.
On Nov. 28, 2016, Rivera pleaded guilty to three counts: Vehicular Homicide (Class 4 Felony), Reckless Vehicular Assault (Class 5 Felony), and Driving Under the Influence (a Misdemeanor) pursuant to a plea agreement. The eight-year sentence was the maximum sentence as contemplated by the plea agreement. In addition to the eight-year jail term, Rivera must also serve three years mandatory parole.
Rivera had consumed some alcoholic beverages after getting off work in Breckenridge, before being involved in the fatal collision and within his car police recovered marijuana residue and accessories. Toxicology reports revealed the presence of low levels of alcohol and THC (marijuana) in Rivera’s body.
"The combination of drug use, alcohol and poor judgment played a deadly role in this terrible event, which took the life of one woman, injured another and devastated several others," commented Bruce Brown, 5th Judicial District Attorney.
“The use by the defendant of both alcohol and marijuana magnified his impairment and was a recipe for tragedy," Brown added.
At the sentencing hearing, the deceased victim, Brianna Martz, was remembered by friends and family members, who asked the Court for a sentence that would hold the defendant accountable for his actions.
In his sentencing order, Judge Thompson characterized Ms. Martz as a “bright, energetic, accomplished and loving daughter, sister and friend." Brianna Martz was 30-years-old.