Sentence Handed Down in Crash That Killed 12-Year-Old Girl

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Fernando Lopez Aguilar (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – The driver responsible for the death of a 12 year-old Des Moines girl in 2016 has been sentenced to prison in the case.

Nineteen-year-old Fernando Lopez Aguilar was sentenced Friday to a prison term not to exceed 20 years in connection with the death of Lea Phann. He must also pay court fines and $150,000 in restitution to Phann’s family.

Lopez Aguilar was found guilty in April of seven charges relating to the crash that kill Phann. Among the charges were reckless driving, involuntary manslaughter, and serious injury by vehicle.

Police say Aguilar went through a stop sign at SE 6th and Bell Avenue in September of 2016, hitting a pickup truck which then crashed into another car. Five people were injured in the crash and Phann died from her injuries days after the incident.

At the time of the accident, Aguilar was in the country illegally on an expired work card under the DACA program.