By ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER
A Toledo man who hit a bicyclist and fled the scene last January was sentenced in Lucas County Common Pleas Court Friday to 10 years behind bars.
Jose Garcia, 28, of 314 Somerset St., pleaded no contest Dec. 7 to one count each of aggravated vehicular assault and failing to stop after an accident.
Garcia was found guilty of striking Floyd Williamson, 43, of 414 Clyde St. as Mr. Williamson was riding his bicycle near Idaho Street and Dover Place early in the morning of Jan. 25. Family members told police that Mr. Williamson left home about 5 a.m. that day to go to a convenience store.
His body was found on the street near a curb just before 6 a.m.
Mr. Williamson’s sister Tamara Bolfa tearfully told Judge James Jensen that it is unclear how long her brother suffered on a cold, dark street alone. She pointed out that within just feet of where he lay dying, were several houses – including her own – and that a hospital was only blocks away.
But instead of working to save her brother, Garcia simply drove away, she said.
Judge Jensen sentenced the father of two to six years in prison for the aggravated vehicular homicide and four years for the failure to stop. He ordered that the sentences run consecutive to one another and suspended Garcia’s driver’s license for life.
Garcia told Judge Jensen that he has been “haunted” by what occurred a year ago and that several times wanted to reach out to the family but was advised not to. He then turned in the courtroom to face members of Mr. Williamson’s family and apologized.
“I know an apology doesn’t bring Mr. Williamson back,” he said tearfully. “It does haunt me. I ask for forgiveness.”