The Peruvian man who fled the country following a fatal car accident is now behind bars.
Nelio Sotomayor-Sanchez, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of homicide by vehicle Monday for the crash that killed 55-year-old Sheree Maillie of Newtown Township. He was sentenced to serve 18 months to five years in prison. Charges were filed against Sotomayor-Sanchez on Feb. 26, 2011 – a day after charges were filed – from his Florida home where he was recovering from injuries. He was a fugitive in South America until Peruvian authorities arrested him in January of 2017.
Due to his absence in the case, Bucks County Common Pleas Court Judge Rea B. Boylan added an aggravated-range sentence in a crime for which state sentencing guidelines prescribed three to 12 months in the standard range.
“He left this country, making himself unavailable, without determining whether these matters had been resolved. And he knew that someone had died,” Boylan said.
Maillie was killed when Sotomayor-Sanchez crashed his Volkswagon Beetle crash head-on into her PT Cruiser on Woodbourne Road on Dec. 23, 2010. Deputy District Attorney Robert D. James prosecuted the case and said Sotomayor-Sanchez became impatient with slower vehicles in front of him on the road, leading him to illegally cross a double-yellow line to pass them. When trying to pass them, he slammed into Maillie’s car.
James noted that Sotomayor-Sanchez was driving without a valid license at the time. He also did not call 9-1-1 or attempt to assist Maillie.
Sotomayor-Sanchez said he had no idea any criminal charges were filed against him prior to leaving the country. He said he left the country to seek surgery for his injuries in Peru under his father’s government-funded medical insurance. He also said he had been unable to assist Maillie at the crash scene because his own injured leg collapsed beneath him when he tried to stand.