Man sentenced to 9 years after fleeing a fatal car crash

Johnassis Melendez (Photo: East Haven Police)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A man charged with fleeing after causing a fatal car crash has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

The New Haven Register reports Johnassis Melendez was sentenced for second-degree manslaughter, assault and evading responsibility.

Related: PD: Driver charged with manslaughter in deadly East Haven crash

Police say Melendez lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a utility pole near a Home Depot. One passenger, 27-year-old Gaitana Girgenti, was pronounced dead at the scene. Another passenger was hospitalized for serious injuries.

Police say Melendez ran after trying to help one of his passengers, but an officer’s body camera captured his picture. Melendez’s lawyer says his client expressed remorse when he pleaded guilty in April.

Related: East Haven suspect confesses live on Facebook before turning himself in

A state prosecutor says members of the Girgenti family support the judge’s ruling.

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