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Plea deal for fatal hit-and-run wreck in Lincoln County, teen apologizes

10:40 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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LINCOLN COUNTY - A teen accused in a deadly hit-and-run wreck learned his fate on Friday.

The 16-year-old reached a plea deal with prosecutors. He was sentenced on Friday to two years probation and 300 hours of "useful public service." He also will not be able to drive for two years. 

"I'm sorry I left," the teen told the court on Friday. "It was my choice, and I regret that every day."

The teen's family was in court and some were crying during his sentencing. The teen's mother spoke to the judge saying "if there is ever a person that can bring respect and honor to these two women's lives, it's my son."

The prosecutor made a strong argument for a 45-day detention, but Judge Jeffrey K. Holmes denied that.

The wreck happened in July 2012 on Interstate 70 just east of Limon. Prosecutors say the teen was driving a small semi-truck to a rodeo competition in Wyoming when he hit two women who were changing a tire on the side of the road. Shun Jones, 48, and Amanda Omolyamu, 38, both died.

"I can't even begin to imagine your pain," said Mandy Martin, the teen's mother. "Please know you all are in our prayers constantly and for the rest of our lives. I know your pain will never go away."

The teen has spoken to dozens of rodeo groups across the country about the accident since it happened.

On Friday, the prosecutor said "[the teen] will live with the knowledge that there are two families in Texas that will live with the knowledge [that] their family members will never come back."

The rules on whether the 16-year-old should've been driving the tractor trailer are different from state to state.

9NEWS contacted the Colorado State Patrol and Louisiana State Police. CSP spokesman Trooper Nate Reid said the agency is investigating whether the tractor trailer was being used commercially.

If so, the driver needs to be at least 18. If it was only for personal use, Reid told 9NEWS the age might not be a problem.

His father, Michel Martin also appeared in court for an arraignment on Feb. 8. Martin is charged with driving the teen away from the scene of the crash, returning and telling police that he was driving - not his son. He is now facing felony charges. 

Both Martin and his son live in Louisiana. The teen's probation may be transferred there.

Sergeant James Anderson of the Louisiana State Police told 9NEWS if the driver is pulling a fully-loaded horse trailer, a person must be at least 18 and have a valid commercial driver's license.

Larry Mertes, attorney for the teen driver, declined to comment on what type of license - if any - the 16-year-old boy had.

The judge, on Friday, said "I don't think my putting you in detention is going to make you think any more than you already have.

**The teen has been charged as a minor, so 9NEWS is not using his name.**

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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