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Driver Who Fatally Struck 4 People Leaving Christmas Concert Sentenced
A woman who struck and killed four people, including a young child, with her car in December of 2014 has been sentenced. Margo Bronstein, 57, pleaded no contest to four felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and was sentenced today to three years and four months, the L.A. Times reports. Bronstein has been in jail since the crash, and will therefore be out in a matter of months after subtracting time served and good behavior from her sentence. Prosecutors, who did not offer a plea bargain, had been hoping for eight years. Family members of those killed had advocated for the maximum sentence of 10 years, according to The Daily Breeze.
On December 17, 2014 at about 8 p.m., Bronstein ran a red light before plowing into a crowd of several people as they crossed the intersection of Pacific Coast Highway, and Vincent Street. The group was leaving a Christmas concert at the nearby St. James Catholic Church. Bronstein did not stop driving until she crashed into an oncoming SUV on PCH despite the fact that she was still carrying pedestrians on her car.
Killed were 81-year-old Mary Ann Wilson, 87-year-old Saeko Matsumura, 36-year-old Martha Gaza and her son, 6-year-old Samuel Gaza. The boy's father and two siblings were struck in the crash, but survived.
It was initially believed that Bronstein, who had a clean driving record prior to the incident, was on prescription medication at the time of the the crash. However, toxicology tests indicated that wasn't the case. Bronstein had some restrictions when it came to driving, including the mandatory use of a hand-controlled brake and an extra mirror on the right side of her car. Ken Erlich, Bronstein's attorney, said she had suffered a severe bout of spinal pain prior to the crash.
Bronstein, the city of Redondo Beach, L.A. County and the state of California were all named in a suit filed in L.A. Superior Court by the victims' families in December of 2015. The suit alleged that the crosswalk was not properly lit and poorly designed, according to the Beach Reporter.
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