An Alachua, Fla. driver who killed two bicyclists participating in a 300K brevet has been sentenced to a 15-year prison sentence, according to a newspaper report.
According to an article in the Gainesville Sun, toxicology results showed that Charles Ray Porter was driving under the influence of five prescription medications at 8:55 a.m. on Feb. 7, 2004 when his 1979 Chevy pickup truck drifted onto the shoulder of a road near High Springs, fatally striking Gustavo Antonini, 66, of Gainesville, and his stepson William Cupples, 46, of Jupiter.
Their deaths marked the first casualties during a sanctioned RUSA brevet in the organization's six-year history.
Porter fled the accident scene but was caught 3.5 miles up the road after he hit a sign and flipped his vehicle.
Porter pleaded no contest to two counts of DUI manslaughter, the Gainesville Sun reported.
Porter faced up to 60 years in prison, but at the request of the victims' families was sentenced to the shorter period agreed to in a plea arrangement.
A letter written by Cupples' sister, Deborah Cupples, and his mother, Victorina Antonini, was read during the sentencing proceeding, the Sun reported. Cupples wrote that the family's faith in God had helped them overcome their loss and allowed them to forgive Porter.
Porter apologized to the families in court.
Antonini, a retired professor from the University of Florida, was an expert in water management and the creator of Florida Sea Grant's nationally recognized urban boating and waterways management program.
Cupples, a U.S. Navy veteran and an instructor of Isshinryu Karate, worked for Florida Power & Light and regularly commuted 20 miles by bicycle to work.
For the complete obituaries of Cupples and Antonini, see the May 2004 issue of American Randonneur.