A Springville man was sentenced Friday to 11 years in prison for hitting and killing a cyclist while driving drunk, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said.
About 4:40 pm on Nov. 7, 2017, victim Octavio Munguia, 51, of Visalia, was riding his bicycle in the Springville area when Joseph Valley, 28, hit him while driving a PT Cruiser, the District Attorney’s Office said. A United Parcel Service driver discovered the victim in the road.
After witnesses reported seeing a PT Cruiser with a broken windshield and significant front damage, the UPS driver directed law enforcement to a nearby house where a PT Cruiser was normally parked.
Officers contacted Valley at the home and found the damaged car, which Valley said was the result of hitting an animal.
A blood draw revealed Valley’s blood alcohol content at .26 percent, the District Attorney’s Office said. The legal limit is .08 percent.
In August, Valley pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with the special allegation of fleeing the scene, and hit and run driving causing death.
“Whenever a life is lost to the selfish choices of a drunk driver, the community as a whole feels both anger and fear that they could become the next innocent victim on their way to work, school, or while enjoying a quiet bike ride,” said Assistant District Attorney David Alavezos. “The sentence handed down by the court will not bring back the life lost, and the defendant will continue his own existence, but for now that existence will be behind prison walls.”