PALMDALE – A 20-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in state prison for driving a stolen pickup truck while under the influence of drugs and causing a crash that killed his passenger.
Douglas Fiddament received the sentence after pleading no contest June 16 to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
In exchange for the “no contest” plea, the prosecution dismissed a murder charge and other felonies related to the Jan. 13 crash in Palmdale that killed 33-year-old Manuel Lopez.
Authorities said Fiddament, a Pearblossom resident, was under the influence of methamphetamines and speeding in a stolen 1997 Dodge Ram with an RV trailer attached when he crashed into the back of a parked school bus on southbound 40th Street East, north of Bella Vita Way in Palmdale.
The bus driver was unharmed and no children were aboard the bus when the collision occurred around 6:10 a.m.
Lopez, a passenger in the pickup truck, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Fiddament has been jailed since his Jan. 13 arrest.
A restitution hearing is scheduled for Aug. 19.
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