A driver accused of hitting and killing a 21-year-old man after trying to start a street race in Gresham has been sentenced to two years in prison, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.
Alex Jacoby, 76, hit Robert Esparza in a crosswalk at around 3:30 a.m. Sept. 24, 2016, investigators said.
Jacoby was speeding eastbound in his 2016 Chevy Corvette on Northeast Glisan Street and was headed toward the Gresham/Fairview pedestrian trail.
Esparza was riding his bike northbound on the trail and headed to work, the attorney’s office said. Investigators allege that just before the crash, Jacoby had “aggressively challenged” two other drivers to a streets race.
When the two drivers declined, Jacoby sped off and hit Esparza at nearly 80-miles-per-hour, according to the district attorney’s office. The speed limit in the area is 40 miles-per-hour.
Esparza was rushed to Legacy Emanuel with critical injuries. He died September 28. The deadly crash occurred just a few blocks from Esparza’s family home.
In court Monday, family member remembered Esparza as a caring and respectful young man who brought a lot of joy to his family.
“We as a family live with Mr. Jacoby’s mistake every day, every weekend, every holiday,” Esparza’s father, Simon, said. “We wake up missing our son, brother and uncle. We go to bed wondering why we won’t see him tomorrow.”
Jacoby pleaded guilty to one count of criminally negligent homicide in April. He expressed remorse at the hearing Monday, the attorney's office said.
As part of his sentencing, he will have his driver’s license permanently revoked. He will also have to pay more than $82,000 in restitution to the Esparza family.
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