Benjamin Servideo, 24, of Newport, has lost his license for eight months and must perform 100 hours of community service for the fatal accident on Route 4 in East Greenwich on Sept. 29, 2012, the Providence Journal reported Tuesday. He must also pay a fine and attend a driver retraining program.
The accident caused the deaths of both Sullynette Sanchez and her baby, delivered after Sanchez had died from her injuries.
The sentence was handed down Tuesday by state Traffic Tribunal Chief Magistrate William R. Guglietta in Cranston.
Servideo pleaded guilty to two traffic violations Feb. 7, after state police found no evidence to bring criminal charges. Servideo was not seen to have been driving erractically, he was not found to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and he was not using his cell phone at the time of the crash.
The accident took place at around 4 p.m. on a rainy September afternoon on Route 4 north, just south of the Frenchtown Road overpass. Servideo's wallet had fallen from the dashboard of the rental car he was driving and he looked down to where it had fallen.
Servideo failed to take in the slowing traffic ahead of him and crashed into Sanchez's car, which pushed her car into the car ahead of her.
“All of this tragedy is based upon what took place in one second,” Guglietta said Tuesday. He let Sanchez's fiance (and the baby's father) and Sanchez's mother speak during the session.
According to the Providence Journal, Steven Bustamante, who has not returned to work since the accident, spoke of all he would never be able to do with his son, Daryel Noah, who was taken off of life support three weeks after his emergency birth.
“I watched him deteriorate,” Bustamante said. “I had to make the worst decision of my life, to take him off life support.”
“The worst thing was when we knew we would have to let him die,” said Ramonita Sanchez Cortes, Sully's mother. “All I do is sit at home and look at her pictures, her diplomas and her accomplishments. Now she is gone.”
Guglietta said letters received on Servideo's behalf went into his sentencing decision.