Tongan man sentenced to 25 years imprisonment in US for fatal crash

A Tongan man in the United States was sentenced to 25 years in prison and his driver license has been suspended for a lifetime.

The sentencing came after the court found Siosaia Fonua, 30, was driving under influence (DUI) at the time he killed a man with a vehicle in Sarasota.

He  was sentenced by Judge James Stroker on Thursday last week for his involvement in a 2012 fatal crash in which he fled the scene with a broken hip and hid. Residents turned him in 45 minutes later, according to States of Florida media.

Police said Fonua was driving while his license was suspended for two prior DUIs.

“Crash reconstruction experts estimated he was driving in excess of 87 mph in a 45 mph zone.  His blood alcohol level an hour after the crash was .182”, the media reported.

Scott Parker, 55, a former clown with the Ringling Brothers’ Circus, was killed in the accident upon impact.

Siosaia Fonua

This was Fonua’s third DUI, second leaving the scene of a crash, and fourth driving on suspended license.

He recently had been released from prison for robbery.

The state sought enhanced sentencing for Fonua as a habitual violent felony offender, which carries a 15-year minimum mandatory.

“Unfortunately, the defendant did not learn from his past mistakes, for which Scott Parker and his family paid the ultimate price,” said Assistant State Attorney Shanna Hourihan.

“When you continue to drink and drive, tragedy happens.  Judge Stroker sentenced the defendant appropriately, finding him to be a danger to the community, and finding that lengthy incarceration the only mechanism to protect that community from him,” Hourihan added.

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