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Driver Sentenced in Fatal DUI Crash

March 11, 2000|CAITLIN LIU

A 20-year-old Northridge man was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for killing a woman while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Michael Hoff also ordered Bobby Reed Williams to pay the family of Susana Baruch about $7,500 for funeral expenses, said Deputy Dist. Atty. James Bazijian of the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

The maximum sentence could have been 10 years, attorneys for both sides said.

Williams pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter for the death of Baruch, 69, of West Hollywood. Baruch's 72-year-old husband, Isidro, was driving on Lindley Avenue near Califa Street when Williams, driving on the wrong side of the road, crashed head-on into them, Bazijian said. Isidro Baruch suffered massive injuries but survived.

Williams' blood-alcohol level was 0.19%, well above the legal driving limit of 0.08%, Bazijian said.

"He felt terrible about what happened," said Williams' attorney, James Barnes. "I believe it was a harsh sentence for a young man."

But Baruch's daughter-in-law said it wasn't enough for someone who took the life of a beloved wife, mother and grandmother.

"It's an insufficient amount of time to pay for his crime," said Denise Baruch.

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