PERRY — A Texas man whose blood alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit was sentenced in Houston County Superior Court on Friday to nine years in prison for vehicular homicide.
Luis Lopez Guzman, 51, of San Antonio, was sentenced after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide in the Dec. 29, 2009, death of 65-year-old Janice Hanes, of Fenwick, Mich., Houston County District Attorney Jason Ashford said Monday. Guzman also pleaded guilty to serious injury by vehicle and driving while intoxicated, Ashford said.
Murray Hanes, 66, the victim’s husband, suffered serious injury in the crash and was hospitalized for four months, Ashford said.
Guzman was driving a tractor-trailer when he ran a red light coming off the southbound ramp of Interstate 75 and struck the passenger side of a Ford F-150 headed north on Sam Nunn Boulevard in Perry, Ashford said.
Guzman’s blood alcohol level was .2, Ashford said. The legal driving limit in Georgia is .08.
Superior Court Judge Edward D. Lukemire also sentenced Guzman to six years on probation, ordered that Guzman may not possess or consume alcohol for the duration of his sentence, and banished Guzman from Middle Georgia, Ashford said.
Guzman expressed remorse and asked for mercy at the sentencing hearing Friday, Ashford said. Murray Hanes also addressed the judge at the hearing, Ashford said.
The maximum sentence for vehicular homicide in Georgia is 15 years, Ashford said.
The Hanes, who were married for more than 40 years, were on vacation when the crash happened, Ashford said.
“It’s a terrible, terrible tragedy,” Ashford said. “We hope Mr. Guzman spends every day of his nine years in prison thinking about what he did.”
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.