After thirteen long years, the driver of the black BMW that fatally struck Virginia Tech grad student Kristin Nemec has been sentenced to 3 1/2 to 7 years in prison. Jose Heras, who initially surrendered in 1998, later ditched bail and fled to Ecuador. Last month, he pleaded guilty to vehicular manslaughter.
In May of 1997, Nemec, 25, was crossing Houston Street when Heras, then 21, collided with her as friends nearby watched. Unconscious and still in her bridesmaid's dress from having attended a sorority sister's wedding at the University Club, Nemec was rushed to St. Vincent's Medical Center as Jose Heras fled the scene and abandoned the car several blocks away.
Heras, who was deported from Ecuador, now faces up to seven years in prison for running down the the engineering student from California. "I am really, truly sorry," Heras said to Nemec's family in court. "I'm here today to be responsible for my actions."