Criminal Justice

Epileptic Driver in Fatal Crash Gets Nine-Year Sentence for Violating Probation by Driving


An epileptic Florida man who admitted driving after his driver’s license was revoked for causing a crash that killed a woman has been sentenced to nine years in prison.

Emilio Santacruz was sentenced Wednesday in Tampa for violating the terms of his probation by getting a new driver’s license after his old license had been revoked, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Santacruz, who has epilepsy, had been driving against his doctor’s order in 2002 when he suffered a seizure and crashed his car into a real estate office, killing a woman who worked inside.

In 2004, a Tampa judge placed Santacruz on probation and ordered him not to drive.

But an investigation into drivers with epilepsy by the Times revealed that Santacruz, who was then living in Miami, had gotten a new license in 2008.

Santacruz admitted getting the license, which he said he needed to get to his job. He promised not to drive again. And he begged the judge to let him return home to be with his wife and their 6-month-old daughter.

But Circuit Judge Daniel Perry said he couldn’t take that chance. What if Santacruz got behind the wheel again, had a seizure and killed another person?

“I wouldn’t want to explain to someone else’s family why I trusted your word,” the judge told him.

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