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Mike Wang’s widow Claire seeks sentencing opinions for hit-and-run driver

Claire Allen, the widow of Mike Wang, is gathering community letters to send to the court where the man who pleaded guilty to the hit and run that killed her husband will be sentenced next month.

Erlin Garcia-Reyes—a 28-year-old native of Honduras who worked at Blue C Sushi, according to charging documents—pleaded guilty earlier this week to felony hit and run, admitting he was the person behind the wheel of the SUV that struck and killed Wang July 28, 2011. Garcia-Reyes was arrested in June when police went to his Normandy Park home and questioned him. He admitted that he was involved in a collision with someone on a bike and that he fled the scene.

He is scheduled to be sentenced August 10, and prosecutors will recommend the maximum sentence of 41 months. Allen wrote to Seattle Bike Blog urging people who bike to write letters suggesting how long Garcia-Reyes should be jailed and whether his driving privileges should be revoked.

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From Claire:

Dear Tom,
The man who killed Mike Wang last year on Dexter Avenue is being sentenced August 10. The King County Prosecutor’s Office has informed me that letters to the judge expressing opinions about how he ought to be sentenced are being collected from members of Michael’s community. They can address how long Mr Garcia-Reyes ought to be jailed and the issue of whether he ought to have his driving privileges taken away in case he is not deported upon his release. If any members of the Seattle biking community would like to express their opinions, they can send the letters to me by August 2, and I will forward them to the correct person in the prosecutor’s office by the deadline. This is a chance for citizens to influence sentencing for vehicular deaths of bicyclists in our city. Please post this in your blog.
Claire Allen (widow of Michael Wang)

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4 responses to “Mike Wang’s widow Claire seeks sentencing opinions for hit-and-run driver”

  1. merlin

    Sent to Claire Allen:

    We have a parallel case going to trial in Seattle soon:
    “A 20-year-old man was charged Friday with second-degree murder in the shooting of Justin Ferrari, a father who was driving with his family in the Central District when he was struck by a stray bullet.
    The suspect, Andrew J. Patterson of Federal Way, was arrested Thursday and booked into the King County Jail. He faces up to 23 years in prison if convicted.”

    Mr. Patterson did not intend to kill Justin Ferrari. He recklessly fired a shot across the street where Ferrari was driving. He fled the scene, and was eventually tracked down by the police. He is charged, appropriately, with second degree murder, with a possible sentence of 23 years in prison.

    Mr. Garcia-Reyes did not intend to kill Michael Wang. He recklessly propelled a dangerous vehicle across the street where Wang was riding. He fled the scene, and was eventually tracked down by the police. He is charged with felony hit and run, with a maximum sentence of 41 months.

    Mr. Garcia’s crime is just as serious as Mr. Patterson’s, although it is treated much less seriously by the law. He should receive the maximum sentence. Mr. Patterson, if convicted, will be prohibited from owning a gun. Mr. Garcia-Reyes should be prohibited from driving a car.

    These punishments do not even begin to make good the harm caused by these men’s actions. In a just world, Mr. Garcia-Reyes would be required to spend the rest of his life riding a bicycle and teaching classes to automobile drivers about the awesome responsibility that comes with driving.

    In addition, Mr. Garcia-Reyes should be required to provide restitution to Mr. Wang’s family in whatever form the family requests.

  2. Toddles

    That’s a very good post Merlin

  3. merlin

    Thanks, Toddles. Feel free to plagiarize.

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