A Jessup woman who was being chased by a state police trooper before she crashed into another car near Columbia, killing its driver, was sentenced to 10 years in jail Friday, county prosecutors announced.
Natalia Diaz-Valle, 20, pleaded guilty in January to one count of negligent manslaughter by automobile for a 2017 crash that fatally injured a Halethorpe man who was leaving a fast-food restaurant parking lot on Route 1.
Howard County Circuit Court Judge William V. Tucker suspended all but 18 months of Diaz-Valle’s sentence, which will be served at the county jail. Tucker also placed her on three years of supervised probation and ordered her to pay a $200 fine and court costs, according to an announcement by the state’s attorney’s office.
On Jan. 30, 2017, Diaz-Valle fled from a state trooper who tried to stop her after she was clocked driving 70 mph in a 55 mph zone on eastbound Route 100 near Snowden River Parkway, according authorities.
During a pursuit, in which speeds approached 100 mph, Diaz-Valle ran a red light and plowed into a car driven by Biik Chong, 26, who was taken to a Baltimore shock trauma hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Blood tests performed on Diaz-Valle after the crash were negative for alcohol and drugs, prosecutors said.
Prosecutor Tricia Cecil called the collision “a senseless situation” during Friday’s sentencing where Diaz-Valle read an apology and expressed remorse, according to the state’s attorney’s statement.
David Putzi, Diaz-Valle’s attorney, did not immediately return a request for comment Friday afternoon.