A former Gwinnett County police officer has pleaded guilty to killing a 16-year-old in a January 2017 car crash.
Scott Edward York entered a guilty plea to charges of second-degree homicide by vehicle, speeding, failure to maintain lane and improper lane change, all misdemeanors or traffic charges, on Oct. 3.
York had been an officer with the Gwinnett County Police Department for barely a year before the crash.
He was responding to an accident call on January 29, 2017 around 9 p.m., heading west on Singleton Road in Norcross, according to the department. York was going 97 miles per hour when he moved into a center turn lane in an attempt to pass another car. That car also tried to get into the center lane.
York swerved in an attempt to avoid a collision, according to police. He lost control , jumped a curb and struck Jose Coreas-Mejia and Joel Melendez-Coreas, teenage cousins who were on the sidewalk near the road.
Melendez-Coreas, 18 at the time of the crash, was treated for injuries and released from the hospital, but his cousin, 16-year-old Coreas-Mejia, died eight days later.
“He has to pay for what he did,” Melendez-Coreas told Channel 2 Action News after the crash.
York was fired from the police department a day after the crash. He was found to have violated department policy by driving nearly 60 miles per hour over the 40 mile per hour speed limit.
Police on Thursday said they cooperated with the district ttorney’s office and handled the case "just as we would with any other case."
“We respect the decision of the court,” the department said in a statement. “We offer our condolences to the family of Jose Coreas-Mejia.”
York had initially been charged with felony vehicular homicide, misdemeanor reckless driving and a traffic citation of driving too fast for conditions after the crash.
He was sentenced to five years, with six months to serve in prison and the remainder to be served on probation, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said. He also must pay a $1,000 fine. York was sentenced as a first offender, meaning if he successfully completes his sentence without another arrest, it will be expunged from his record.
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