VICTORVILLE, Calif. – A 26-year-old Victorville man was sentenced today for the 2018 DUI traffic collision that killed an Adelanto mother.
Fernando Pantoja Jr. was arrested on Saturday, April 14, 2018, after slamming into the vehicle of Frenetta “Netta” Sartor Miller while intoxicated. At around 11:19 p.m. deputies from the Victorville Station and emergency medical personnel responded to US Highway 395 and Seneca Road for the report of a 2-vehicle collision. When they arrived they located both vehicles with major damage in the northeast desert area near US Highway 395 and Seneca Road.
Pantoja had to be extricated from his Honda sedan. He suffered major injuries as a result of the collision and was airlifted to a trauma center for treatment of his injuries. Inside his vehicle, there was also a 3-year-old child who was not injured in the crash. Sartor-Miller was trapped inside her Nissan and also had to be extricated from her vehicle. Once emergency medical personnel was able to get to her, they determined that she had died at the scene as a result of her injuries.
Through investigation, it was determined that Pantoja was driving his Honda east on Seneca Road and Sartor-Miller was driving north on Highway 395. Pantoja attempted to turn onto northbound Highway 395 but did not stop at the posted stop sign prior to doing so. The Honda driven by Pantoja broadsided the Nissan driven by Sartor-Miller sending both vehicles into the northeast dirt area near Highway 395 and Seneca Road.
Pantoja Jr. was determined to be driving under the influence and was arrested for Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated and Cruelty to a Child. He was booked into the West Valley Detention Center. Pantoja Jr. initially pleaded not guilty but later changed his plea as part of a plea agreement. On November 19, 2018, Pantoja pleaded guilty to Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated and Willful Cruelty to a Child. As a result of the plea deal charges including DUI Alcohol/Drugs Causing Injury, Great Bodily Injury on Person, DUI Alcohol/0.08 Percent or More Causing Bodily Injury, and Driving Under Combined Influence Of Alcohol/Drugs Causing Injury were all dropped.
Fernando Pantoja Jr. was sentenced on Wednesday, January 16, 2019, at the Victorville Superior Court. He was sentenced to 6 years in Prison for Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated and 365 days for Willful Cruelty to Child to be served concurrently. Pantoja was credited for 277 days of time served and 276 days for conduct credit for a total of 18 months. He will be required to serve approximately 2 years and 3 months, which is 50% of his remaining sentence.
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