A Castle Rock man was sentenced to six years in prison May 2 for causing a fatal, head-on collision on Crowfoot Valley Road in June 2018. Francisco Avila Sanchez, 19, was sentenced by Douglas County …
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A Castle Rock man was sentenced to six years in prison May 2 for causing a fatal, head-on collision on Crowfoot Valley Road in June 2018.
Francisco Avila Sanchez, 19, was sentenced by Douglas County District Court Judge Theresa Slade to eight total years in the Department of Corrections. Two of those years, one on each count, can be suspended following certain conditions, including community service and participation on the Victims Impact Panel, an awareness program for those convicted of driving under the influence. He was sentenced to five years on one count of vehicular homicide, providing he completes 300 hours of community service, and one year for one count of driving while impaired if he completes 150 hours of community service.
“This was a decision. It wasn't just the decision to get behind the wheel — it was a decision to take in illegal substances and then drive,” Slade said. “There are consequences for your decisions. The victims did not get the choice to make a decision that day.”
On June 5, Sanchez drove northbound into oncoming traffic on Crowfoot Valley Road between Castle Rock and Parker. Sanchez, later proven to be high on marijuana during the incident, caused a five-car wreck that killed Amanda Hill, 24, of Littleton. Hill was driving to a doctor's appointment from her parent's house in Parker.
Hill's family spoke at the sentencing, asking for the maximum sentence and saying that the collision was not an accident but a “decision.”
“They called it an accident, which is the biggest joke in the world,” said Ed Hill, Amanda's father. “He needs to face his consequences.”
During the sentencing, the prosecutor played aloud a recording of a phone call between Sanchez and his girlfriend while Sanchez was in jail telling her to lie about the incident in order to minimize his sentencing. On the recording, he also purported that he had been high on cocaine. Sanchez's lawyer said Sanchez called his girlfriend soon after to retract what he said.
Hill attended Legend High School and graduated from Castle View High School. She attended the Bel-Rea Institute of Animal Technology and was working as a veterinary tech. Her parents said she had a love for exotic animals.
As part of Sanchez's sentencing, he must serve 150 community service hours working with animals or for some animal care facility, in honor of Hill.
Sanchez read a letter to the Hill family expressing his remorse.
Ed and Denise Hill said they have become active to support DUI prevention. Ed Hill said he plants to work with the state Legislature to lower the designated legal driving level of THC, the main chemical in marijuana that causes a person to feel high. Denise Hill said she will be getting involved with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to spread awareness about the dangers of driving under the influence.
“I work at a high school, in the kitchen. I see a lot of these kids. I love these kids,” Denise Hill said. “I want to help educate them on the consequences of driving impaired.”
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