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    Driver gets 10 years for crash that killed Irvine man in Laguna Beach
    • October 21, 2023

    A 36-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita man pleaded guilty Friday and was immediately sentenced to 10 years in prison for an alcohol-fueled crash that killed a man in Laguna Beach nearly 10 years ago.

    Francisco Acuna Sanchez pleaded guilty to a felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. As part of the plea deal, charges of second-degree murder and driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs causing injury were dismissed along with sentencing enhancements for inflicting great bodily injury on three victims.

    Sanchez, a previously twice convicted drunk driver, was involved in a four-vehicle crash that injured several and killed 29-year-old Erik Valencia of Irvine on Jan. 26, 2014. The crash happened around 1:30 p.m. on Pacific Coast Highway near Irvine Cove Drive in Laguna Beach, police said.

    Sanchez was arrested on Nov. 24, 2021, and has been in jail since then.

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    ​ Orange County Register