mens timberland boots sale Fatal DUI crash into Thousand Oaks home draws prison term
Justin Stalberg of Camarillo was sentenced to four years in prison for a 2016 DUI crash that killed a man in Thousand Oaks.(Photo: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/VENTURA COUNTY SHERIFF OFFICE)A Camarillo man was sentenced Friday to four years in state prison for felony DUI gross vehicular manslaughter after the truck he was driving plowed into a Thousand Oaks home and killed an elderly man in 2016.
Before Ventura County Superior Court Judge Bruce Young gave the order, Justin Stalberg, 20, said he was “extremely ashamed” of his role in the Dec. 22, 2016, crash. when he lost control of the vehicle. The truck plunged down an embankment and through part of Oakbrook Neighborhood Park, then crashed into a family room of a home on Briarwood Place where 74 year old Igor Lirtsman, of New York, was sleeping.
Lirtsman had been visiting his family for the holidays, investigators said. He and his family were supposed to go to Disneyland that day, a visit he had not yet made in his life.
Prosecutors said a blood sample taken more than five hours after the crash showed Stalberg had a 0.12 percent blood alcohol level and had chemical properties that suggested he used marijuana close to the time of the incident.
Read more: New York man dies when truck crashes into Thousand Oaks house
The defendant also admitted to a special allegation of a serious felony and a felony charge of attempting to flee the scene of an accident involving death. He initially pleadednot guilty to the charges butlater changed his plea to guiltyin September.
A preliminary hearing was held in the case in May 2017 in which Lirtsman’s son in law Amr Abdel Dayemtestified thatStalberg allegedly continued to revthe truck’s engine and move the truck another 5 to 6 feet while the victim’slifeless body wasin front of it. Statements from two of the victim’s other childrenwere also read aloud.
Outside the courtroom Friday after the hearing, Yana Lirtsmansaid she knew whatever the sentence was, it would not be “satisfactory,” mostly because itwill never bring back her father. She called it “a feigned sense of justice.”
Buy PhotoA man was killed early on Dec. 22, 2016, in Thousand Oaks when a pickup traveled down a 40 foot embankment and crashed into the back of a house in the 2600 block of Briarwood Place. (Photo: CHUCK KIRMAN/THE STAR)
Read more: Man pleads guilty to vehicular manslaughter in December incident
In her statement Friday, Yana Lirtsman saidshe had heard about Stalberg’s effort to continuehis education as the proceedings went forward. She said as a teacher, she understood the value of learning but could not understand how Stalbergmade the fatal decision in the first place or why it was more important than the case.
“Mr. Stalberg, you’re smart. You should have known better,” she said.
The crash happened in her home.
“The void and silence it created are unbearable,” she said.
Her father was on a visit that the family had been looking forward to after recently moving from New York. She had not seen her father in more than a year.
Yana Lirtsman called her father, who worked as a pilot, her mentor and hero.
She recalled his life, saying he had always been a fighter. Igor Lirtsman grew up Jewish in German occupied Russia and later spoke out about communism in Soviet Russia. With the help of then Vice President George H. W. as political refugees.
“As long as I can remember, my father he had a heightened sense of fairness and justice,” she said.
After handing down the sentence, Young said he hopes the victim’s family can hold onto those same ideas.
But for the victim’s granddaughter, Cai Dayem, forgiveness was not on the table.
At the hearing, the Agoura High School student said the horrific sight of her grandfather’s death haunts her every day and she has lingering effects from the trauma.