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Published: Wednesday, 4/30/2014

S. Toledo man gets 8 years in traffic fatality

Unlicensed driver fled scene

Selvera Selvera

A South Toledo man with a long history of unlicensed driving was sentenced Tuesday to eight years in prison for crashing head-on into another vehicle, killing the driver and injuring two passengers.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Myron Duhart also imposed a lifetime driver’s license suspension on Alberto Selvera, 26, of 1157 Western Ave., who pleaded no contest to aggravated vehicular homicide and two counts of vehicular assault for the April 21, 2013, crash. Killed was James Steele, 57, of Toledo, whose wife, Lillian Steele, 55, and grandson, Austin Steele, 16, were injured.

Selvera was speeding on Western Avenue when he struck the left rear of a car driven by Laquita Hackett of Toledo, who was waiting to turn left onto Marion Street. Selvera’s sport utility vehicle then slammed into Mr. Steele’s westbound SUV.

“Even after the accident, you got out and you fled so now you add insult to injury,” Judge Duhart told him. “No one should have to experience what they experienced that day. This court believes you are a threat to the community, and as a threat to the community, in good conscience it is my duty to send you to prison, to take you off the street.”

Two of James Steele’s relatives had asked Judge Duhart to impose the maximum sentence. The judge told Selvera he “took great care” in reading case records over before determining his sentence.

“You were driving and you chose to drive that Chevy Tahoe. You chose to drive in a reckless manner and you caused the death of another,” the judge said. “You have indicated personally as well as through your attorney that you have trouble sleeping. You should have trouble sleeping. I’m glad you have trouble sleeping.”

He said Selvera needed to spend his time in prison thinking about what he did and “when you get out, how you are going to repay your debt.”

Selvera also was sentenced to six months in prison for an unrelated count of theft and ordered to pay $1,171 restitution in that case.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.

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