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Costa Rica
Monday, May 16, 2022

Drunk driver who killed U.S. tourists sentenced to prison

A drunk driver who caused a 2019 traffic accident that killed four people has been sentenced to seven years in prison, according to CRHoy.

The four victims included three United States visitors and a Costa Rican. Several others were injured in the incident, which occurred when the inebriated driver, surname Sánchez, crashed his truck head-on against a minibus transporting tourists.

“The Criminal Court of the area sentenced Sánchez to 7 years in prison for the crime of manslaughter and, in addition, extended the preventive detention measure for six months, while the sentence is finalized,” reported the Public Ministry.

The incident occurred in October 2019 in the municipality of La Cruz, Guanacaste (in the northwest of Costa Rica), in a tourist area with several popular ​​beaches. The truck driver lost control while traveling at high speed and hit the minibus, according to Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ).

OIJ identified the U.S. victims: a couple of last name Niemiec, both 46, and another person surnamed Williams, 50. All three were from Wisconsin. The Costa Rican driver of the minibus was Eduardo Antonio Arrieta Astudillo, who lived in Carrillo.

Sánchez, a Salvadoran, tested above the legal limit on two breathalyzer tests after the accident.

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