VISALIA, California (KSEE/KGPE) — A Porterville man was sentenced to life in prison in Tulare County Superior Court Wednesday for driving under the influence and murder related to a crash that took the life of a one-year-old child and injured two adult woman.
Timothy McDarment, 51, was found guilty of second-degree murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony hit and run resulting in death or injury, and misdemeanor driving on a suspended license, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said.
The jury also found that McDarment fled the crime scene and cause injury to more than one victim.
McDarment possesses three prior DUI convictions from 2000, 2010 and 2015, with the last two convictions handed down in Inyo County, Chief Deputy DA Dan Underwood said. He was still on probation from his most recent conviction when the crime occurred.
The crash occurred around 5 p.m. on June 19, 2017, when McDarment was driving at a high rate of speed in the area of Springville Avenue and Doyle Street near Porterville when he attempted to pass the victims’ car on the left by crossing over the solid yellow lines, Underwood said.
As the victims were beginning a legal left hand turn into a private driveway, McDarment’s Jeep struck the smaller car, crushing it and causing it to spin.
McDarment fled the scene on foot but was followed by bystanders and taken into custody by the California Highway Patrol. All three victims were transported to Sierra View District Hospital where the one-year-old, identified by his mother as Ezriyan Soto, was pronounced dead, Underwood said. Two adult females also suffered injuries, one of which required extensive surgery and recovery.
Investigation showed that McDarment had a .13% BAC two hours after the crash.
Angelica Davila, Soto’s mother, read a statement to the court during McDarment’s sentencing. Part of the statement reads:
“When the accident happened my world was shattered. It was so traumatic that I could not feel my injuries until the next day. My mind was in chaos and in fight mode. I was upset that I let the paramedics take my baby because they could not save him and they left his hand hanging on the hot pavement as they worked on him with the AED. As much as I want to, I can’t forget that day… It pains me that with time my memory fades of all the moments me and my son had together.”Angelica Davila
Under current state law, McDarment will be eligible for parole after 22 years.
“The victim impact statement read in this case is one of the most powerful indictments of driving under the influence I have ever read,” said District Attorney Tim Ward. “Please, be responsible on the road.”