SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A man who was drunk and driving the wrong way when he killed another motorist in a head-on collision was sentenced Wednesday to 11 years and eight months in prison.
Nicholas Gervais, 29, pleaded guilty in May to four felony charges, including vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing great bodily injury. He also pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and DUI with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or higher in the Feb. 23 death of 28-year-old John Mathew Hajosy.
Deputy District Attorney Lucy Yturralde told a judge at Gervais' arraignment that the defendant was spotted driving south in northbound lanes of State Route 125 about 2:10 a.m. on Feb. 23.
An El Cajon police officer tried to get Gervais' attention by flashing his lights at the wrong-way driver and tried to videotape what was happening, Yturralde said.
Eventually, Gervais got on state Route 94, driving his BMW west in the eastbound lanes up to about 80 mph, before crashing into Hajosy's car, the prosecutor said. Hajosy died at the scene of head injuries and a lacerated spleen.
Gervais was taken to a hospital and breathalyzer test showed his blood-alcohol content at .23 percent and .21 percent about three hours after the crash, according to Yturralde, who said a marijuana pipe was found in Gervais' car.
At Gervais' sentencing Wednesday, Hajosy's mother talked about her son and encouraged Gervais to make changes in his life and become a better person.
"You can make amends with your own family, but you must pay the price for taking someone else's life," she said.