COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – A man responsible for a deadly bus crash will spend up to 32 years in prison after taking a plea deal. The families of the victims say no number will ever be enough, but they want to close a difficult chapter. The driver told them to “deal with it,” before a judge handed him his sentence in an El Paso County courtroom Friday.
Investigators say Daihauonzadre Brooks-Jones was wanted for sex assault when he stole a passenger bus in Aurora, and then crashed it on Highway 83 in Black Forest in 2020. Two people were killed and multiple others were hurt, including a young girl.
Months after the crash, Brooks-Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of vehicular homicide. Fourth Judicial District Judge Laura Findorff gave him two 16-year sentences in the Department of Corrections, that will be served consecutively. His time behind bars will be followed by five years of mandatory parole. All other charges were dropped because of the plea agreement.
“We won’t get those loved ones back, but after today’s sentencing there has been some justice,” said Aracely Sanchez.
Several friends and family members of the victims spoke in court and with 11 News after Friday’s hearing. Aracely Sanchez lost her father, Sergio Sanchez, in the crash in 2020. Her entire family was in the car headed to the airport when the bus crossed into oncoming traffic and hit them.
“I just had a baby and he will never meet her. My baby will never meet her grandfather,” said Sanchez. “I know he’s watching her from up above and I know he’s watching all of his grandchildren.”
Kizzy Aguirre was also killed. Her family and the Sanchez family want people to think of the victims first, and how their lives have changed forever.
“It is earth shattering. Life-changing. We will never be who we were before this,” said Aguirre’s sister, Carmel Aguirre C De Baca.
Brooks-Jones also chose to speak during Fridays’ hearing. His words were “deal with it, because I will as well and I’m not happy about this.” He mentioned how he would also be separated from his family because of this incident and the sentenced he received.
“The defendant ended up saying, ‘deal with it.’ And those words really hurt because two loved ones lost their lives by somebody that doesn’t care,” said Sanchez.
Some family members left the courtroom after the defendant’s remarks. Those who spoke to 11 News say they ultimately want to find closure and keep the memory of their loved ones alive.
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