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Family of alleged drunk driver's first victim speaks out

Created: 01/29/2014 10:42 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

An 11-year-old Belen girl is still in the hospital Wednesday after being thrown from a motorcycle in a suspected DWI crash.

Megan Sanchez and her father, Danny, were thrown from the motorcycle after police say a drunken 27-year-old Jacob Williams hit them with his truck Saturday.

But they were not the first victims.

Williams was convicted in 2006 of hitting another motorcyclist, Quin Sanchez.

Sanchez was killed, and his passenger was paralyzed.

Quin Sanchez's family says first and foremost they want everyone to know he is more than Williams' nameless first victim.

They also have a message for the family at the center of Williams' second arrest for the same crime.

My heart, and our hearts, goes out to that family," said Damon Sanchez. "We know what they're going through."

Damon Sanchez, Felizia Nieto and Thera Sanchez used to have a big brother.

His name was Quin.

"The similarities are actually a little overwhelming," said Sanchez.

In 2006, Quin Sanchez and his friend Mary were riding a motorcycle when a drunk 19-year-old Jacob Williams hit them: killing Quin and paralyzing Mary.

"It's a senseless tragedy that shouldn't have happened again," said Sanchez.

But last Saturday, it did happen again.

Now 27, Jacob Williams is accused of driving drunk again -- killing motorcyclist Danny Sanchez and injuring his daughter - 11 year old Megan.

"One man did this. How is one man allowed to do it again?" said Sanchez.

It's a question Sanchez never imagined he'd face.

"He was sentenced to the maximum capacity of the law," said Quin's sister Felizia Nieto.

Nieto says it might surprise people to know this family believes the judge who sentenced Williams in 2006 did all he could.

We now know that judge is the brother of Williams' latest victim, Danny Sanchez.

"Judge Sanchez., he said that day, 'You drink, you drive, you kill someone, you go to prison.' That will always stick out in my mind. He did his job," said Nieto.

What hasn't done its job, says Nieto, is the system.

"He didn't learn his lesson," she said. "Our laws failed."

Nieto says she can't help thinking back to a remorseful Williams at his last sentencing.

"I looked at him thinking, 'You're 19. You have the rest of your life ahead of you.'" she said. "The law should have reformed him."

Nieto said her family plans to attend court appearances for Williams in the latest case against him.

Damon Sanchez hopes to work with lobbying groups to change the system that handles drunk driving offenders. 


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