A 19-year-old, who crashed into and killed a Las Vegas man while racing another vehicle, is going to boot camp.
On March 18, a Las Vegas police officer spotted Andrew Ruano in a 2001 Ford F-150 chasing a white Audi westbound on Reno Avenue, near Cameron Street. But before the officer could stop Ruano, the teenager had run a stop sign, crashing into 39-year-old Samuel Bottley III in his 1995 Chevrolet Beretta.
Ruano’s truck went through a chain link fence and burst into flames as he and a friend fled the vehicle, a police report said.
Authorities later located the teenager at University Medical Center with minor injuries and arrested him after his release later that morning.
Las Vegas police found Bottley lying on the sidewalk. He was transported to UMC, where he died about an hour after the accident.
Ruano was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and charged with involuntary manslaughter, failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving death, and reckless driving.
He pleaded guilty in June to the latter two charges, which carry a combined maximum penalty of 21 years, and in exchange the attorney general agreed to drop the involuntary manslaughter count.
As a result, Ruano could receive probation if he completes boot camp successfully.
"The rationale is, he’s a young guy, he’s got zero criminal history," said Ruano’s defense attorney, Gary Booker.
His client was not on drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, he said.
Bottley’s wife and brother spoke in District Judge Jackie Glass’ courtroom Tuesday at a hearing for Ruano, where the judge ordered him to boot camp, Booker said.
If Ruano successfully completes a six-month stint at the camp near Indian Springs run by the Department of Corrections, Thom Gover, senior deputy attorney general, said he will not oppose probation at Ruano’s sentencing in July 2008.
"It’s up to the judge what sentence he’ll receive," Gover said.
Despite the police report’s account, which states Ruano was racing with an unidentified driver, Gover said it appears from the evidence he was driving recklessly and not street racing.
Ruano was exceeding the speed limit, "racing down the street not actually like you would see on ‘Tokyo Drift,’" Gover said, referring to the street racing movie.
He said Bottley’s family is struggling with the death of the victim, a local chef, "But they also felt no matter what happened (in court), it was never going to bring back their son or husband."
The Review-Journal was unable to reach the Bottley family.
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