Santa Rosa resident Wayne Thomas, 64, was sentenced to a year in county jail on Friday, Sept. 25, after pleading no contest to misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter for the September 2018 death of Sebastopol resident Guadalupe Martinez.
On Sept. 29, 2018, Thomas was involved in a head-on collision on Gravenstein Highway near Sebastopol. Driving a commercial truck, Thomas crossed solid yellow lines, entered into the opposing traffic lane, and collided head-on with a vehicle going westbound. Martinez was a passenger in the westbound vehicle.
Before the collision, Thomas was a “habitual traffic offender.” His license had been suspended due to DUIs.
According to the Sonoma County District Attorney’s office, at sentencing the court heard statements from several family members of Martinez, including her daughter Julie Clark, son Larry Martinez and nephew, Vincent Lagomarsino.
In a letter submitted to the court by the victim’s son Larry Martinez and his wife Lorri Martinez stated, “While her suffering ended ours continues every day… Our family has lost a mother, grandmother, aunt and sister in a senseless death.”
In response to the sentencing Julie Clark stated, “I know this is supposed to give my family closure, but it will never be able to take the pain away or heal our broken hearts.”
In addition to this charge, in an unrelated proceeding, Thomas was ordered to serve an additional year in county jail and three years on probation after pleading no contest to five counts of driving with a suspended license.