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Drunk driver gets prison in San Diego deputy's death

Collier A drunk driver held responsible for a crash that killed a San Diego County sheriff's deputy was sentenced Friday to seven years and eight months in prison.

Jose Lopez Jasso, 23, was driving the wrong-way on California Highway 52 in Santee in the early hours of Feb. 28 when Deputy Ken Collier made a U-turn to give chase, prosecutors said.

As Collier came within 20 yards of Jasso's vehicle, his patrol SUV hit a freeway abutment, rolled down a hill and burst into flames. He died at a local hospital of his injuries.

Collier, 39, a graduate of San Diego State, joined the department in 2001 and became a patrol deputy in 2006.

In October, Jasso pleaded guilty in San Diego County Superior Court to gross vehicular manslaughter, drunk driving that caused great bodily injury and driving the wrong way.

"While today's sentencing does bring some measure of solace, it cannot bring back our deputy and friend, Ken Collier," said Sheriff Bill Gore. "Sheriff's Department employees will never forget his sense of humor and dedication to his job."

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Sheriff's Deputy Ken Collier. Credit: San Diego County Sheriff's Department

Comments () | Archives (13)

RIP big guy.

So sad...RIP officer...tHis is what happens when bad people make bad decisions They kill innocent people

Life in prison, too excessive, runaway juries...............

Very sad. The drunken driver should have received a lot more prison time. May the deceased officer, rest in peace.

the drunk driver didnt kill this man. the cop apparently wasnt watching where he was going. am i the only one who sees a problem here? the drunk driver merely drove drunk. he didnt kill anyone.

I agree with Stan. Not only did the guy NOT kill the cop, but if it had been a 'regular mortal', he would have got probation and/or a fine. But 'cops' are always saints who can do no harm. The death of any person is tragic, no matter what the circumstances, but what makes the life of a cop more worthy than that of Joe Citizen? Once again, a double-standard.....

"the drunk driver didnt kill this man. the cop apparently wasnt watching where he was going. am i the only one who sees a problem here? the drunk driver merely drove drunk. he didnt kill anyone."
The officer was killed as a direct result of this guy driving drunk, as he was chasing him when it happened. And in CA, when a death occurs during the commission of a felony (DUI w/ injury resulting), the felon is liable. That's the law.

Stan: If he was not DUI, this officers death would not have happened. Follow the dots...

Another "immigrant" driving drunk so, what's new?

This makes no sense. From the facts as presented in the article the officer killed himself. The officer was under no mandate to do what he did - he had choices. He was obviously driving in an unsafe manner - a manor that put not only himself at risk but also other motorists. If the cop was pulling a motorist over for a broken tail light and this happened would the motorists be held responsible - I bet not. This all boils down to villianizing people who have a drink and drive - it is the war on alcohol.

Yes, there does seem to be a double standard for cops, but the bottom line is drunk drivers kill more people in America EVERY YEAR than have been lost in the 9+ years of the war on terror. Where are the hanky-wringers on this? Down at the bar drowning their frustrations? A person decides to leave his home to drink; he decides to take his car, knowing is isn't going to drive itself home; having gotten smashed, he decides not to call a cab; having made all these decisions, he then has a head-on with a family of five, and kills them all. All these decisions were made before the fact, most of them while the person was still sober. Why is this not prosecuted as premeditated murder?

The driver should have gotten 2 years probation with eletric foot band,and be focerced to go to AA meetings also detox. But he did not kill the peace officer.It is traggic, I mean a vet from middle east while under ptts shoots man gets prob. who is guilty??

Stan, PJ, Howard: Your position is the driver is not responsible for the cop getting killed therefore you'd logically agree the cop had no duty to pursue the drunk. If so, let's say that your wife swerved to avoid a head-on with the drunk who the police did not attempt to pursue, rolled her car, was ejected and killed. Under your thinking, the drunk driver has no responsibility for this, so therefore should not be charged in any way, shape or form in relation to the death of your wife. Right?


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