Monday, April 22

Arianna Colon sentenced to 12 years in prison for hit-and-run crash that killed 10-year-old girl

A woman will spend the next 12 years in prison for a hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 10-year-old girl nearly three years ago.

Arianna Colon, who was found guilty on all charges in January, was sentenced Tuesday in a St. Lucie County courtroom.

She was previously found guilty of leaving the scene of a crash involving death and vehicular homicide.

Police said the child who was killed, Yaceny Berenice Rodriguez-Gonzalez, was crossing the street in September 2021 to get to her school bus, which was stopped with its red lights flashing and stop sign extended.

A white sedan going northbound went around the parked bus, hit the girl, then took off.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found Rodriguez-Gonzalez lying unconscious in a grassy area.

The child was taken to Lawnwood Regional Medical Center, where she later died from her injuries.

Colon, who was 22 at the time of the incident, said she didn’t see the bus lights from afar and said she didn’t see any children around the bus, so when she hit the 10-year-old, she said she thought she hit a pothole. Colon also said she didn’t attempt to brake because she didn’t see anything in front of her that would cause her to do so.

The maximum sentence that Colon could have received was 45 years in prison.

I thought it was a fair sentence. It was the bottom of the guidelines. She has not had any prior criminal history, and the judge did what I thought was fair and based on the sentencing guidelines and we can accept that,” Jerome Stone, Colon’s defense attorney, said. “There was no malicious intent on her part. It was an accident. If she would have stopped, she wouldn’t have received any jail time. It wouldve been a civil case. There was nothing here that justifies that she should receive the maximum.”

The prosecutor in the case felt that Colon should have received a harsher sentence.

“I’m disappointed. Like I said from the inception of this case, I felt that nothing less than the maximum was appropriate given the facts and circumstances of what occurred,” Assistant District Attorney Justin Miller said. “She willfully, consciously drove past that school bus with the kids trying to get on the bus believing she could avoid any children traveling at 45 mph. She of course was wrong and Yaceny and her family are paying the ultimate price for that gamble.”

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