PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – A driver who crashed a stolen car into a steel power pole and caused the death of a 19-year-old passenger has been sentenced to just over seven years in prison, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office says.
Adam Alexander Valle, 25, crashed the 2004 Subaru Legacy into a power pole in Portland near Southeast Division Street and 122nd Avenue last year after refusing to pull over and speeding away from police.
The high-speed crash resulted in half of the car being impaled by the pole, according to the attorney’s office.
Heaven Leigh Mathews, a passenger in the front seat, died at the scene, despite life-saving efforts. Valle was found about a block away from the scene and hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.
When paramedics told Valle that he had been in a crash and that his passenger died, he started laughing, the attorney’s office says.
Investigators later learned that Valle had likely been awake for several days with little to no sleep and had been using methamphetamine, according to the attorney’s office.
Mathews’ father appeared in court during sentencing and expressed compassion toward Valle.
“Heaven loved everyone unconditionally,” Gary Mathews said. “This was the worst thing to happen to our family. It has devastated us. Heaven was an incredible person. She was able to be friends to so many people. She was such a kind heart.”
Valle pleaded guilty to one count of manslaughter in the second degree, one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, one count of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, and one count of driving under the influence of intoxicants.
He was then sentenced to 85 months in prison and three years of post-prison supervision. He will also have to pay approximately $45,000 in restitution, the attorney’s office says.