Orlando man who drove 128 mph, killed 2 women, sentenced to 21 years in prison

Justin Fonner tearfully apologized to families of victims

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A man who pleaded guilty to driving 128 miles per hour and causing a crash that killed two young women in Winter Park was sentenced to 21 years in prison on Friday.

Justin Fonner, 32, entered his plea last August, pleading guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide and two counts of reckless driving.

The crash happened on New Year’s Eve in 2017.

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Investigators claimed Fonner was in the driver’s seat of a BMW with two friends in the car with him, driving on Orange Avenue in Winter Park.

They said the data recorded in the car tracked him traveling at 128 miles per hour in a 35 mile per hour zone when the car T-boned another car.

Geena Pabarue and Keisha Oyola-Perales were both killed.

On the stand on Friday, Fonner tearfully read an apology to the families of both victims, while the sister of Pabarue said her family did not accept the apology.

Fonner’s attorney, backed by testimony from his mother, father, brother and sister-in-law, presented evidence that Fonner suffers from a brain injury that causes anxiety and depression.

Attorney Jonathan Rose claimed that was what caused Fonner to drive so fast that night.

Judge Tarlika Nunez-Navarro did not agree.

She sentenced Fonner to the recommended sentence of 21 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation, 100 hours of community service, a mental health evaluation and a permanent driver’s license revocation.

Fonner’s attorney and family members were not available for comment after the sentencing.

The crash prompted a News 6 investigation, where The Investigators uncovered more than 200 crashes had happened along that stretch of Orange Avenue over a five-year period.

As a result, the Florida Department of Transportation is now in the design phase of installing a roundabout and reducing the number of lanes.

About the Author:

Erik Sandoval joined the News 6 team as a reporter in May 2013 and became an Investigator in 2020. During his time at News 6, Erik has covered several major stories, including the 2016 Presidential campaign. He was also one of the first reporters live on the air at the Pulse Nightclub shooting.