Trucker sentenced to 36 years for causing crash

| 12/17/2008

A jury sentenced a 37-year-old trucker on Monday, Dec. 15, to 36 years in prison following a fiery crash in 2005 that killed four people.

The Miami Herald reported that Flavio Santisteban was driving a gas tanker carrying more than 9,000 gallons of fuel. When he tried to merge onto the on-ramp to Florida's Turnpike from Interstate 595, his truck skidded out of control, flipped onto a station wagon carrying the four people, and exploded.

The jury heard that Santisteban suffered burns from trying to help the victims out of their burning car. He has been haunted by images of the burning bodies, his fiancée told the judge in a plea for leniency, according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

But prosecutors said Santisteban was driving 60 miles an hour and cutting off other vehicles on the 35 mph on-ramp to the Florida Turnpike. And he had been cited for driving violations at least 10 times, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
He was convicted on four counts of vehicular manslaughter.