Man calls himself 'coward' for fleeing deadly crash, gets 5-15 years in prison

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MINEOLA -

A West Hempstead man was sentenced Friday to five to 15 years in prison for a hit-and-run crash that killed a 21-year-old.

Kettelye Plantin survived the March crash in Baldwin, but her son, Jovanni Bien-Aime, did not. She sat in a Mineola courtroom as 39-year-old Roy Gomez was sentenced for leaving the scene after slamming into the car in which they were riding.

"No amount of time they give him will bring my son back," she said.

Gomez pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicular homicide and other charges. Prosecutors say Gomez drank six beers and did 13 shots of liquor before causing the crash. Gomez was found five hours later, sleeping on a boat in Freeport.

On Friday, Gomez addressed the court and called himself a "coward" for leaving the scene. He apologized to Bien-Aime's family.

"Why God, why God, why,?" he asked. "How could I have done such a horrible thing?"

Bien-Aime's sister said after the sentencing, she didn't know what to make of the apology. But the judge had sharp words for Gomez, saying: "It sort of insults it to ask why. It happened because you drank and got behind the wheel...you put yourself in that position...that's the only answer."

Bien-Aime's family say they support the plea agreement that got Gomez five to 15 years. They called it somewhat of a relief to not have to go through a trial.

Bien-Aime's mother told News 12 that she hopes Gomez learns his lesson and doesn't drive drunk again when he's released from jail.

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