FRESNO, California (KSEE) – A new law that would increase the prison sentence for fatal hit and run crashes is closer to becoming law.
Assemblymember Jim Patterson is pushing for the change following the 2018 death of Clovis Unified administrator Gavin Gladding. He was jogging when he was struck and killed by 18-year-old Rogelio Alverez. He then fled the scene and turned himself in four days later.
“Gavin Gladding was on the side of the road struggling to breathe,” said Patterson. “And this individual spent four days on the run, sobered up and eventually spent about one year in prison.”
Alvarez’s original sentence was three years. He spent 14 months behind bars before being released.
“Gavin Gladding’s killer spent Christmas at home with his family,” said Patterson. “This is absolute utter injustice.”
Patterson’s proposal is to increase the current maximum prison sentence from for hit-and-run drivers who take another’s life.
Currently, the maximum sentence is four years; under the new law, it would be seven to 10 years.
“What we are trying to do is close a loophole that gives incentive for someone like Gavin Gladding’s killer to do great bodily harm and leave the scene and then sober up,” said Patterson.