A horrific crash caused by Shana Soto’s intoxicated driving resulted in a four-year prison sentence and 10 years of probation, as announced on Friday in Broward County. The victims of this tragic incident were present in the courtroom as the sentence was delivered, according to News 6 partner Local 10 News.
The fateful crash occurred on November 2, 2021, in Hollywood, leaving one of the victims, Ana Verasetgui, forcefully propelled 10 feet away from her dinner spot. Verasetgui, who tragically lost the lower portion of both her legs, expressed her unforgiving stance towards Soto.
Presiding over the case, Broward County Circuit Judge Edward Harold Merrigan Jr. attentively listened as Soto revealed that her alcohol abuse began following her multiple sclerosis diagnosis, a chronic condition affecting the central nervous system, back in 2005. Divorce records also indicate that Soto’s life took a turn for the worse in 2011.
In court, Soto expressed sincere remorse for her decision to drive while under the influence. However, prosecutors revealed that at the time of the crash, Soto’s system contained not only alcohol but also cocaine and THC. The sequence of events leading up to the collision involved Soto swerving past a fire truck, striking a curb, careening onto the sidewalk, and devastatingly plowing through an outdoor dining area near Young Circle Park.
Prosecutors, advocating for a 13-year prison term, shed light on Soto’s previous history of accidents, traffic violations, and drug usage. In contrast, the defense pleaded for house arrest, citing Soto’s deep remorse and deteriorating health condition.
Marcello Santolalla, who pushed Verasetgui’s wheelchair into the courtroom, shared the harrowing details of the incident. As they were engaged in a meal outdoors, Soto’s car pinned them down, narrowly escaping death. Santolalla vividly recalled Soto emerging from the car, appearing completely intoxicated.
As the legal proceedings unfolded, it became evident that the consequences of Soto’s reckless actions would forever impact the lives of the victims. The court’s decision to impose a substantial prison sentence and lengthy probationary period aimed to ensure accountability for the severe harm inflicted by Soto’s impaired driving.
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