By Lauren Sellew
MERIDEN — A city man was sentenced to six years in prison Thursday for a 2016 hit-and-run that left a city mother dead.
Alex Checa, 21, of 134 Andrews St., was sentenced to 10 years in prison, suspended after six years. Two years of the sentence are mandatory under state statute. He was also ordered to serve five years probation.
DaniaCedeño Del Rosario, 40, was struck on Springdale Avenue in October 2016. She pushed her 7-year-old daughter, DenisseGuerrero, out of the way just before she was hit by Checa’s car. He fled the scene and Cedeno Del Rosario died at Hartford Hospital.
Checa pleaded guilty on Dec. 7 to second-degree manslaughter and evading responsibility that resulted in death.
During the hearing Thursday in Meriden Superior Court, the victim advocate read a letter from Cedeño Del Rosario’s husband. The couple met in 1995 when they lived in the Dominican Republic, eventually married and had two children. In 2013, Cedeño Del Rosario moved to Meriden with the children, and in the summer of 2016, her husband joined them.
She would tell him about the snow and how much she loved seeing it fall, according to the letter. Her husband wrote she was excited they would experience the winter of 2016 together.
“I lost half of my soul,” the letter said.
Cedeño Del Rosario’s mother also had a statement read. In her statement, she said she forgives Checa, even though he left the scene and tried to hide evidence by having his car repaired. The mother said Checa’s actions destroyed the family.
“My daughter was my everything,” the statement said.
Public defender Maureen Murphy said Checa has expressed remorse, taken responsibility and cooperated with a civil investigation by an insurance agency.
Checa also spoke, turning to look at Cedeño Del Rosario’s family seated in the front rows. He said he is “deeply remorseful” for his actions and never meant to cause any harm. Checa said he also apologizes to his family, including his grandparents, who raised him. Checa said he was sorry to leave his wife and child for so long, and acknowledged that doesn’t compare to the loss of Cedeño Del Rosario’s family “due to my negligence.”
Judge Sheridan Moore said she understood the pain and anguish the victim’s family is going through, adding she hope Checa learns from the crash and will live his life properly in the future.