Man who ran from deputies, killed innocent bystander in crash sentenced to 20 years

Family of victim says it brings closure

By Louis Bolden - Investigative Reporter

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - A judge on Friday sentenced a man convicted of vehicular homicide to 20 years in prison.

Yadira Santiago said she is relieved Wilvenson Darius, who killed her son in a car crash while running from authorities, will be spending two decades in prison.

"I think the judge was fair and took everything into consideration," she said.  "He won't be able to hurt anyone else for a long time."

Before he was sentenced, Darius, 25, told the court he was remorseful and sometimes didn't want to live his life because he had taken someone else's.

"Because of my actions, a mother is without a son, a father lost a son," Darius told the court.

In April 2017, Lake County deputies chased Darius around the county after he allegedly ran a red light.

According to an internal affairs report, one deputy admitted to driving 130 mph. Just as Darius crossed into Orange County, he lost control and crashed into 19-year-old Carlos Sanchez Santiago's car.   

In August, a jury found Darius guilty of vehicular homicide and fleeing from law enforcement resulting in death. Carlos' sister, Andrea Sanchez, told the court their family is changed forever.

"Losing my brother broke the whole family," she said

While the defense asked for four years, the judge sentenced Darius to 20 years plus 10 years probation.

According to an internal affairs report obtained by News 6, the deputies involved in the chase did not follow protocol.

The chase should have been called off because of the high speeds, and Cpl. Josh Creech was punished for lying that Darius tried to run him over. Dash camera video proved otherwise.
 

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