Man who killed woman in head-on collision on Interstate 70 sentenced to 8 years in prison |

Man who killed woman in head-on collision on Interstate 70 sentenced to 8 years in prison

Summit Daily staff report

Sebastian Rivera, a 24-year-old man who killed a woman on Interstate 70 in a head-on collision last year, was sentenced on Monday to eight years in prison, the District Attorney's Office said in a release.

Rivera pleaded guilty on Nov. 28, 2016, to vehicular homicide, reckless vehicular assault and driving under the influence. In the release, the DA's Office said that the eight-year sentence delivered by Judge Mark Thompson on Monday was the maximum possible under a plea agreement.

According to the release, Rivera had been drinking alcoholic beverages after getting off work in Breckenridge before he collided with another vehicle while driving in the wrong lane.

Briana Martz, 29, was sitting in the passenger side of the other vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene. Her friend, who was driving, was rushed to the St. Anthony Summit Medical Center in Frisco with serious injuries.

Toxicology reports showed that Rivera had low level of alcohol and THC in his system at the time of the crash and that marijuana residue and paraphernalia were found in his car.

"The combination of drug use, alcohol and poor judgment played a deadly role in this terrible event, which took the life of one woman, injured another and devastated several others," District Attorney Bruce Brown said in the release. "The use by the defendant of both alcohol and marijuana magnified his impairment and was a recipe for tragedy."

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At the sentencing hearing, the deceased victim was remembered by friends and family members, who asked the court for a sentence that would hold the defendant accountable for his actions, the release said.

In his sentencing order, Judge Thompson described Ms. Martz as a "bright, energetic, accomplished and loving daughter, sister and friend."

Martz, originally from West Bend, Wisconsin, was a pediatric emergency nurse at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree. She had studied nursing at the University of Wisconsin.