La Mirada man sentenced for fatal hit-and-run crash

NORWALK — A La Mirada man received a 7-year prison sentence Wednesday for striking and fatally injuring a 72-year-old La Mirada man, then fleeing the scene, authorities said.
Geoffrey Rocha, 28, was sentenced by Norwalk Superior Court Commissioner Michel Schurr after pleading no contest to a charge of vehicular manslaughter in July, according to Los Angeles County District Attorney’s officials. Rocha also admitted the special allegation of fleeing the scene.
Raul Quintanilla was out for his morning walk about 4:30 a.m. Sept. 20, 2011, when he was struck by a 2003 Chevrolet Malibu driven by Rocha at Santa Gertrudes Avenue and Lawnhill Drive, investigators said.
The though crash was severe and caused “horrific” injuries to Quintanilla, Rocha continued driving and abandoned his car about a mile-and-a-half away, according to Los Angeles County sheriff’s traffic investigator Deputy Jeff Tibbets.
As part of the plea agreement, prosecutors Wednesday dismissed additional charges of driving on a suspended license and hit-and-run were dismissed, officials said.
Quintanilla was a La Mirada resident for more than 40 years, family members his said.
He’s survived by his wife, Elida, who read a victim impact statement at Wednesday sentencing, two sons, a granddaughter, three brothers and two sisters.
Rocha’s brother, 30-year-old Gregory Rocha of La Mirada, died in a crash six months earlier at the same intersection, officials said.
He was a passenger in a pickup truck that crashed March 5, 2011, killing both him and the driver. The cause of the crash was determined to have been caused by drunken driving.
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