A 20-year-old man has been sentenced to eight years in prison after the marijuana-impaired driver caused a crash that killed a woman, according to a release from the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Douglas County District Court Judge Theresa Slade sentenced Francisco Alexi Sanchez of Castle Rock recently following a deal in which he pleaded guilty to vehicular assault and one count of driving while ability impaired in the death of Amanda Hill, who was 24 when she died.
Hill’s mother, Denise Hill, told the judge she was living in a “black hole of grief.”
“The loss of our daughter was absolutely 100 percent preventable,” she said. “The defendant made reckless choices that fateful day. There must be consequences. We have to send a message.”
On June 5, 2018, Hill was driving her Toyota RAV4 southbound on Crowfoot Valley Road just north of Castle Rock when Sanchez — driving north on the same road in a Saturn Vue — crossed a double yellow line, according to the news release by Vikki Migoya, spokeswoman for District Attorney George Brauchler. Sanchez hit two cars, including Hill’s.
Sanchez told investigators he had not been drinking or doing drugs, but he tested positive for low levels of THC, the release said.
“When it comes to making drivers incapable of operating motor vehicles safely on our roads, marijuana once again proves it is just as deadly as alcohol. Here, another innocent life was snuffed out by someone who picked getting high on marijuana over his responsibility as a driver,” Brauchler said in the release.
Numerous family and friends of Hill attended the sentencing, and several addressed the court, including her father, Ed Hill.
“We have to live the rest of our lives without our beautiful daughter. This senseless act will cause us pain and suffering for the rest of our lives,” Ed Hill said. “Those who did wrong must take responsibility for their actions. The message must be sent to those who do drugs and drive.”
The judge suspended two years of the prison sentence for successful completion of community service, substance abuse treatment, participation in victim impact panels and monitored sobriety.