CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A man who drove an overloaded car while drunk, causing a wreck that killed an 18-year-old passenger, was sentenced Wednesday to more than 14 years in state prison.
Roman Rivera Martinez, 28, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury in the Sept. 25, 2010, death of Eileen Miranda.
Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright told a judge last fall that Martinez was driving a car crammed with eight people -- it was designed to seat five -- when he came upon a Chevrolet on northbound 805 just south of H Street.
Martinez struck the Chevy as he tried to pass it in the median and lost control of his car, which skidded across the freeway and went down an embankment, where it burst into flames, the prosecutor said.
Miranda was thrown from the car and killed.
Another passenger was airlifted to a hospital, Bright said. Witnesses said Martinez was having "difficulty" and driving erratically before getting on the freeway, the prosecutor said.
Martinez has a DUI conviction from 2002 and a robbery conviction from 2005, Bright said.
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