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May 23, 2015

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Driver, 16, in crash that killed teen gets six months

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Olivia Brandise "Lynn" Hyten

The teenager driving the truck Coronado High School sophomore Olivia Brandise Hyten, 15, was riding in when she died in a crash last fall will spend the next six months in youth detention.

In addition, David Jensen, 16, will lose his driver’s license and be on probation until he is 21 and be required to do 500 hours of community service speaking to other teenagers about the dangers of speeding, Family Court Judge William Voy ruled today.

Jensen pleaded guilty last month to involuntary manslaughter in Hyten’s death. He also pleaded guilty to aggressive driving which caused substantial bodily harm to another teen, Stephen Lubawy, who was riding in the vehicle.

Jensen will serve his six months’ detention at Spring Mountain Youth Camp, the county equivalent of prison for juveniles.

As Voy read the sentence in a packed courtroom, Jensen listened intently and did not show outward emotion.

“In cases like this, where an accident causes death and that person does not go through a process of atonement, that life is then lost,” Voy said. “My job is making sure that doesn’t happen.”

In January, Jensen had agreed he was neglectful, driving 62 mph in a 25 mph zone, and that his neglect resulted in Hyten’s death and Lubawy’s injuries, which included a fractured vertebrae and internal bleeding.

The crash occurred just before midnight Nov. 14 on Grand Hills Drive near Villa Barolo in the Seven Hills community.

Jensen’s attorney Bill Terry asked Voy for leniency, noting that until the crash, Jensen had shown good character in his involvement in Boy Scouts and other activities. Jensen hadn’t been drinking or taking drugs and he remained on the scene until police arrived, Terry said.

The crash was due in large part to Jensen’s inexperience in driving, his attorney said.

Lubawy, who was also Hyten’s boyfriend, said he was satisfied with whatever the judge thought was appropriate.

“I don’t hate the kid at all,” said Lubawy, who gave Jensen a letter during a court recess offering forgiveness. “I just hate the choice he made.”

Hyten’s mother, Teresa Brandise, said that the sentence, while satisfactory, would not bring her daughter back.

“There is no justice,” she said. “This is something that never gets behind you.”

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