A 24-year-old man pleaded no contest to a pair of felonies Friday for driving drunk and causing a crash near Marina del Rey that killed a Georgia firefighter on vacation with some of his colleagues.
Benjamin Albert Seider was immediately sentenced to seven years and four months in prison. Seider pleaded no contest to gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing injury, according to Deputy District Attorney Eva Jabber Stodel.
Seider apologized for the crash and victim Doug Blanchard told him he will try to forgive him.
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"I hope you never forget the pain you caused, and use it as motivation to change," Blanchard said in court.
Seider had been free on bond, but was taken into custody after entering his plea and being sentenced. Stodel said Seider's blood-alcohol content was measured at 0.098 two-and- a-half hours after the April 10 crash at Ocean Avenue and Washington Boulevard that killed Ron Herens, 23, of Powder Springs, Georgia.
Herens died at the scene. He was on vacation with four fellow Marietta, Georgia, firefighters and was in a car with two of them when their vehicle was T-boned in an intersection.
The other firefighters suffered various injuries, with one having broken ribs and the other a concussion and broken nose. A couple in a third car involved in the collision escaped injury. Marietta Fire Chief Jackie Gibbs said Seider's car ran a red light and slammed into Herens' vehicle.
Angie Crouch contributed to this report.