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Plea deal in fatal crash allows driver to avoid prison

A 19-year-old Santa Rosa man who fell asleep at the wheel and flipped a van on Guerneville Road, killing a co-worker, pleaded no contest Thursday to criminal charges in a plea deal that will help him avoid prison.

Laureano Terrazas was charged with felony hit and run, vehicular manslaughter and driving without a license in the Aug. 3 crash that killed Manual Acosta-Montano, 55, also of Santa Rosa.

Under the agreement, approved by Judge Rene Chouteau, Terrazas will be exposed to no more than a year in county jail and three years of formal probation.

The deal came over the objection of prosecutor Brian Staebell, who said it was insufficient because someone died.

The crash happened as Terrazas, who had no prior record, was driving to work in Graton with two other men. He complained about being tired and asked the other men to drive, but they refused, Staebell said.

The van he was driving went off the shoulder, continued for several hundred yards and flipped, Staebell said, killing Acosta-Montano.

Authorities have been unable to contact the victim's relatives, who are believed to be in Mexico, Staebell said.


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