Man who fled scene of wreck sent to prison
A former California gang member was sentenced to 3-10 years in prison on Monday in connection with a four-year-old collision.
Gilbert Diego Alvarez, 32, admitted he ran from the scene of a Jan. 31, 2016, rear-end collision at Highway 88 and Mottsville Lane.
Both the occupants in the other vehicle were seriously injured. According to prosecutors, Alvarez dropped a shotgun and hid in an irrigation ditch in the middle of a snowstorm.
Defense attorney Brian Filter said that Alvarez had changed while he was in prison in California over the intervening years.
“He looks like kind of a tough guy and he might have been at one point, but he’s not now,” Filter said. “He’s been in custody for almost five years now, including California. He is straight out of Compton, but he has actually changed his life. He knows he’s going to prison.”
Prosecutor A.J. Hames said he spoke with one of the victims in the crash, and that one had since died for unrelated causes.
“She said no amount of money can buy back her good health,” Hames said.
He said that Alvarez used the weather as an excuse for the collision.
“He still hasn’t taken accountability,” Hames said. “He ran away from the vehicle and was found by deputies in an irrigation ditch. For him to say he’s changed is perhaps a little insincere. The state’s concern is that he hasn’t changed, that he is still the same person he was when he committed the prior three felonies.”
Alvarez apologized and said that he’s done with the gang life.
“I have repented from my old ways,” he said. “I have not ties to any gangs or prison politics. I plan to have all my tattoos removed in the near future.”
Alvarez was sentenced to 3-10 years for failure to stop at an accident and 2-6 years for possession of a firearm by an unlawful user of a controlled substance. District Judge Tom Gregory set the sentences to run simultaneously, but consecutive to any time Alvarez has yet to do in California.