Leavenworth A 21-year-old Lansing man was ordered Wednesday to pay $250 in fines and spend six months on probation for his role in an accident in February that killed a Tonganoxie teen.
Before sentencing Ricardo D. Flores, Leavenworth County District Judge Gunnar Sundby heard comments from Dennis Bixby, the father of Amanda Bixby, who died in the accident. Amanda was 19 when she was killed in a three-vehicle accident Feb. 14 at 158th Street and U.S. Highway 24-40 in Basehor.
Sundby also heard from Curtis Witt, whose daughter, Shelby, was in a Dodge Durango that Flores' Toyota 4Runner initially hit before striking Amanda Bixby's Ford Taurus. Flores missed the stop sign at 158th Street and headed north across U.S. 24-40, according to sheriff's reports.
At an Aug. 22 hearing, Flores pleaded no contest to failure to yield at a stop sign, speeding and driving without a driver's license.
On Wednesday, he spoke for the first time in court, with his attorney serving as his interpreter.
"I am very sorry for what happened," Flores said.
He went on to reiterate his apology.
"This affects my family and their family," Flores said. "And I'm very sorry."
Outside the courtroom, Dennis Bixby said he was disappointed in Flores' sentence.
"I feel the lack of punishment by this judge has given me more fuel to go to the Legislature," Bixby said.
State Rep. Kenny Wilk, R-Lansing, and Sen. Roger Pine, R-Lawrence, have been working to improve state laws regarding vehicular homicide.
Flores originally was arrested on a charge of vehicular homicide, but Leavenworth County Attorney Frank Kohl did not file that charge in court because of a 2002 Kansas Supreme Court Ruling. At that time, the court ruled that the mere fact that a driver ran a red light or a stop sign did not satisfy legal elements required for a vehicular homicide conviction.