House arrest, probation for North York woman who caused fatal crash
A North York woman whose mother was murdered almost 10 years ago was sentenced to house arrest and probation after she fell asleep at the wheel and caused a crash that caused the death of a York City man.
Gladys Mendez, 22, of Latimer Street, pleaded guilty May 21 to involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving in the crash that killed 56-year-old Samuel B. Myers in Warrington Township on Oct. 11, 2015.
Mendez will spend the first six months of her probation under house arrest.
Valerie Myers, Samuel Myers' daughter, said in a victim impact statement that there were no words that could adequately convey the loss caused by Mendez's actions.
She told Mendez that she hopes the attitude of "self-pity" that the Myers family has witnessed will be replaced with taking responsibility for her own actions.
Crash: State police said Mendez was driving north on Old York Road in Warrington Township about 7:20 a.m. when the Jeep she was driving crossed into the southbound lane.
The Jeep crashed into a Toyota Corolla driven by Samuel Myers, of York City, charging documents state. He was wearing a seat belt but died of multiple injuries, according to the York County Coroner's Office.
The Jeep was almost entirely in the southbound berm when it struck the Corolla, which Myers had "aggressively" slowed to 6 to 14 mph when the crash happened, documents state.
During Monday's hearing, senior deputy prosecutor Sarah Buhite told Common Pleas Judge Gregory Snyder that the investigation showed Mendez was not distracted during the crash, and she was not under the influence of anything during the crash.
Buhite said that Mendez fell asleep at the wheel.
Mendez told the judge she had worked the night before and was heading to work that morning when she fell asleep while driving.
"I woke up to the paramedics pulling me out of my car," she said.
Police said at the time she was going 72 mph in a 55 mph zone.
As part of her plea agreement, Mendez's charges of homicide by vehicle and two summary traffic offenses were dismissed.
Valerie Myers told Snyder that she and her family had all talked about Mendez's plea agreement at length and agreed to its terms.
Her attorney, Bill Graff, declined comment after Monday's hearing.
Lost her mom: Mendez was 12 years old on June 7, 2008, when her mother, Sally Estrada, was fatally stabbed and beaten by Estrada's estranged boyfriend, Eugene Hampton, in her York City home.
Hampton pleaded guilty in December 2009 to third-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison.
Mendez and her three younger brothers were home at the time and witnessed the attack. Estrada died in her daughter's arms, according to family members.
Estrada's four children moved in with one of their mother's sisters, and the close-knit Estrada family vowed to raise them together.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.