Family says hit-and-run driver's punishment won't fit crime - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Family says hit-and-run driver's punishment won't fit crime

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Crime scene tape surrounds the scene of a hit-and-run crash near a church in North Las Vegas on Aug. 8, 2013. (FOX5) Crime scene tape surrounds the scene of a hit-and-run crash near a church in North Las Vegas on Aug. 8, 2013. (FOX5)
Nyakueth Tear (Source: NLVPD) Nyakueth Tear (Source: NLVPD)

The family of a man nearly killed by a hit-and-run driver said they can't accept her guilty plea because the punishment won't fit the crime.

Nyakueth Tear, 18, could spend 15 years in prison for the crash outside a North Las Vegas church.

Lorenzo Alavez, 55, left University Medical Center last week after spending six months in the intensive care unit. Back at home, his family says he can barely eat, move or talk.

"We don't go out as a family anymore," said Luis Alavez, the victim's son. "It's harder now."

Luis Alavez said life with his father is a daily struggle following the accident. Tear admitted Tuesday she drove off after hitting Lorenzo Alavez and seven other people, including a pregnant woman. They were leaving Iglesia de Cristo church back on Aug. 8, 2013. Police caught Tear after she crashed her car near Interstate 15.

The Alavez family said they're trying to forgive, but it's not easy.

"If you see him, he has a reaction of a 2-year-old. We [have to] baby him, carry him around, take him to the bathroom and shower him, and put him back to bed, put him to sleep, feed him," said Julio Alavez, the victim's nephew.

Julio Alavez said his uncle is mainly confined to his bed, relies on feeding tubes and can barely hug his own family. They are anticipating years of rehabilitation.

"Even the maximum penalty of 15 years won't make up what my uncle and his family are going through," said Julio Alavez. "They have a sentence a lot longer than 15 years."

They're glad they won't have to relive the pain of the crash during a trial and can focus on their family member. Despite all they've been through, the family is grateful he's getting better and said love for their patriarch only grows stronger with each new milestone.

"The first time I saw him smile again, I was happy," said Luis Alavez. "I hope he gets better enough so he could live a normal life."

Tear's mother, Sarah Dak, said her daughter didn't mean to hit anyone and called it an accident. She said her daughter ran away because she was scared. Tear has a 1-year-old son in Utah.

Tear's sentencing is set for April 15. She faces probation or up to 15 years in prison. The Alavez family says they plan to be there.

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