A 21-year-old Colorado Springs man who was speeding nearly 40 miles over the limit when he caused the death of a retired Air Force officer in Briargate was sentenced to prison Monday.
Eric Sartuche-Dean was sentenced to six years in the Colorado Department of Corrections, the maximum he had faced after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide in the June 2020 death of 69-year-old David Hundley, a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel.
“Killing someone while reckless driving is not an accident,” 4th Judicial District Judge Lin Billings Vela said while imposing the penalty. “This was a crash. This was a completely preventable death.”
Sartuche-Dean was driving east on Briargate Parkway as fast as 83 mph in a 45 mph zone at 6:30 a.m. when his Infiniti sedan slammed into Hundley’s Honda hatchback as it turned left onto Explorer Drive, authorities alleged.
Hundley, who was on his way to the post office, was killed instantly, said his widow, Danita Hundley.
Danita Hundley told the judge the death came six days before what would have been the couple’s 41st anniversary.
She asked for the maximum penalty, saying that Sartuche-Dean’s recklessness had left a “gaping hole” in what should have been pivotal moments for their family, including their daughter’s purchase of her first home.
“He has destroyed our dreams of a future together,” his widow said.
Hundley was decorated 21-year Air Force veteran officer whose career in space and missile operations led to assignments at Peterson Air Force Base and at bases in Missouri, Florida, North Dakota, Turkey and Norfolk, Va., according to an online obituary. He enjoyed golf, horror and science fiction films, and reading, and liked to attend baseball games with his family.
Sartuche-Dean’s attorney, Beau Worthington, called him a hard worker from a tightknit family whose remorse led him to plead guilty and take accountability.
“He’s expressed to me a number of times how sorry he is that he’s hurt people that way that he has,” Worthington said in asking the judge to consider a probationary sentence.
In tearful remarks to the court, Sartuche-Dean apologized and said he thinks of Hundley’s death every day.
“I didn’t go out to seek to hurt anybody with my speed,” he said. “It was a lack of judgment.”
As part of the plea deal, Sartuche-Dean also pleaded guilty to third-degree assault based on the attack on a then-girlfriend, for which the judge imposed a concurrent sentence, meaning it won’t add to his time behind bars.
The judge said she wouldn’t consider a lesser sentence, partly because Sartuche-Dean’s continued brushes with the law after his arrest. She cited his decision to plead guilty and his youthful age as mitigating factors.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been updated to reflect the correct location of the crash at Briargate Parkway and Explorer Drive.