Florida teenager sentenced to 14 years in prison for fatal car crash that killed four

MIAMI (FloridaToday.news). Following an investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, justice has been served in a fatality that occurred on January 1, 2021 at the intersection of West Flagler Street and 78th Avenue.

On Thursday, Alex Garcia, who was 16 at the time of the incident, agreed to 14 years in prison, followed by two years of house arrest and eight years of probation.

Garcia faced multiple charges in connection with the accident, including four counts of vehicular homicide, four counts of involuntary drunken manslaughter, and two counts of driving under the influence with serious bodily injury. He was held in a juvenile detention center for 21 days before being transferred to the Turner Gilford Knight Correctional Center for an adult trial.

Despite the rejection of an appeal to be released from prison pending trial, Garcia has remained in detention since February 2, 2023.

The FHP thanked Corporal Christine Gracie and the Highway Homicide Squad and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office in a press release Thursday.

β€œ[We] thank [them] for prompt and painstaking work in this tragic case,” the message says. “We hope the verdict helps families come to a conclusion and sends a message to the community about the tragic consequences of drunk driving and extreme speeds.”

A plane crash on the first day of 2021 killed 21-year-old Juhlia Gelac Barzaga, 22-year-old Christian Mohip, 21-year-old Andres Zacarias and 21-year-old Genser Salazar.

β€œThe face of the Christians was unrecognizable. Yuhila’s body was squeezed under the passenger side of the car,” the serviceman said.

A memorial erected at the crash site was vandalized, and a few months after the incident, one of those involved in the incident posted information about the destruction on social media.

This year, in March and June, the tombstone of two victims was desecrated. Police are still investigating whether these individual acts of vandalism may be connected and who may be behind them.

Although Garcia negotiated a plea deal, the victims’ family told 7News that it was no match for their verdict; life without loved ones.

When asked why Garcia didn’t speak during his court appearance, his lawyer said it was a tactical decision to leave the day to the families.

Garcia will also have to pay $100 in compensation to the victims on January 1 of each year.

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