Man Headed To Prison For Causing Crash That Nearly Killed 4 Friends

By Andrea Flores

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – A drunk driver who pleaded guilty to injuring four teens in a wrong-way crash in Thornton was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday.

alyssa sanchez 2 Man Headed To Prison For Causing Crash That Nearly Killed 4 Friends

(credit: CBS)

Thornton High School senior Alyssa Sanchez had so much to look forward to before the wrong-way driver turned her life upside down.

z 36 copy copy Man Headed To Prison For Causing Crash That Nearly Killed 4 Friends

Frederick Veloz Jr. (credit: Thornton Police Department)

Last July, Frederick Veloz drove into oncoming traffic and slammed into Alyssa’s car near 126th and Washington in Thornton head-on while under the influence of meth and alcohol.

“Every time I get in a car, I picture it over and over again,” said Alyssa’s cousin Serena Fox, who was also in the car, with two other teenage boys.

alyssa sanchez 1 Man Headed To Prison For Causing Crash That Nearly Killed 4 Friends

Alyssa Sanchez (credit: CBS)

Alyssa suffered a broken femur, compound fracture of her arm, broken jaw, shattered elbow, skull fracture and brain hemorrhage. One of the teenage boys continues to work through brain injuries sustained in the accident.

“Frederick Veloz was literally every parent’s nightmare,” said Chief District Attorney Brian Mason at the sentencing hearing. “He was high on meth, drunk on alcohol and, behind the wheel of his black truck, a blazing, out-of-control weapon of death.”

Doctors told Alyssa she would spend most of her senior year in a wheelchair, but she proved them wrong by crossing the finish line of her final cross country race, and dancing the night away as senior prom queen.

alyssa sanchez 3 Man Headed To Prison For Causing Crash That Nearly Killed 4 Friends

(credit: CBS)

“I’m very proud of her, she’s graduating in a few days, and she made it,” said Farrah Sanchez, Alyssa’s mom.

Thursday, Veloz was sentenced to 18 years in prison, closing a painful chapter in Alyssa’s life.

“[Veloz] turned around to all my family and said sorry for everything,” Alyssa said. “I appreciated that.”

alyssa sanchez 4 Man Headed To Prison For Causing Crash That Nearly Killed 4 Friends

(credit: CBS)

With the end of her senior year coming to a close, Alyssa says she’s savoring every moment.

“Life is short; don’t take it for granted,” said Alyssa.

Andrea Flores is a reporter for CBS4. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @AndreaFloresTV.

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