Driver sentenced in drunken-driving death

Driver sentenced in drunken-driving death
Kyer Valeros sentenced to eight years in prison
Kyer Valeros sentenced to eight years in prison
Ervin Yanuaria
Ervin Yanuaria

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kyer Valeros cried in the courtroom as he apologized for a fatal accident in February 2011.

"I am very sorry for the loss that I caused for his family," he said.

Valeros was driving drunk when he crashed his minivan on the H1 Freeway. The accident killed his 20-year-old friend Ervin Yanuaria who was in the passenger seat.

"At the time the incident was happening, I feel like I'm going crazy because he's my first born," said Yanuaria's mother, Gemma.

"I will take full responsibility for my behavior," Valeros told the judge. "I know this is a big mistake."

Valeros, 21, admits to drinking beer and hard liquor before getting behind the wheel. Police said he was speeding at 90 mph. Six other people were in the vehicle when it overturned near the Kaonohi Street overpass.

"It is understandable that concern for his own welfare may be paramount in his mind, but the lack of contrition and remorse is noteworthy," deputy prosecutor Scott Bell said.

He asked for a 20-year sentence.

Valeros's defense attorney pleaded for probation.

"Your honor, this is a tragic accident for everyone, but it is not a case of manslaughter," Joseph Lee said.

Lee offered character witnesses to speak on Valeros's behalf. It didn't sway the judge.

"These are precisely the type of situations that unfortunately there's not a shortage of. You gambled with your life and the life of all the others. And in this particular case Ervin lost," Circuit Judge Rom Trader said.

Yanuaria graduated from Waipahu High School and worked in a pizza shop.

"It's hard to lose a son like him, your honor," Gemma Yanuaria said.

Valeros was sentenced to 8 years in prison for reckless manslaughter and 4 years for assault. The terms will run simultaneously. He was also ordered to pay the Yanauaria family $13,700 in restitution.

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