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SAN DIEGO —
A young man who drove unlicensed and under the influence of drugs when he plowed into another vehicle at high speeds on a Poway road — killing a man and his 13-year-old son — pleaded guilty Monday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Donald Lee Farmer, 20, was under the influence of marijuana and Xanax at the time of the Feb. 12, 2021, crash that killed 54-year-old Stephen Pirolli and his teenage son, Stephen Pirolli Jr., according to prosecutors.
Farmer, who also admitted a charge of driving without a license, faces between four and eight years in state prison when he is sentenced on June 30.
The Pirollis’ Toyota was broadsided about 7 p.m. on Espola Road.
The elder Pirolli died at the scene. His son was taken to a hospital, where he died.
According to preliminary hearing testimony, the crash happened after the 13-year-old attended baseball practice at Poway High School. . He and his father were turning left out of a school parking lot when their vehicle was struck.
Sheriff’s deputy Nathaniel Bier testified that reconstruction of the crash scene indicated Farmer was driving around 90 mph at the time of the crash. The speed limit on that stretch of Espola Road is 45 mph.
Sheriff’s deputy Ryan Christy testified that Farmer told him he was driving around 45 to 50 mph at the time. He told Christy that the Pirollis’ vehicle was driving in the lane to his right when their car suddenly made a U-turn in front of him, the deputy testified.
Farmer had a learner’s permit, but not a driver’s license at the time. Farmer was alone in his vehicle when the crash occurred.
Under California law, drivers with learner’s permits may drive only while a driver’s license holder who is at least 25 years old is riding with them.
Source: This post first appeared on sandiegouniontribune.com