A former local high school baseball star, drafted by a Major League team last year, has been sentenced for a January traffic accident that killed a man in front of Steele Canyon High School.
Andrew Bellatti, 19, was spared prison, by the wishes of the victim's family, and sentenced to five years probation and 240 days in jail. With credit for time already served he will serve about 87 more days in jail.
The victim's widow said the penalty is fair.
"He was very sorry about what happened, he felt bad about it," Lynette Reid said. She says she is doing really well. "We believe in moving on and making the best of everything despite the tragedy.”
Bellatti wrote a letter to the judge explaining how sorry he was about the accident.
“I would think about it and it would tear at me from the inside,” wrote Bellatti. “I feel so awful and I can only imagine how wonderful a man, husband and father Mr. Reid was to his family.”
Bellatti said he cries himself to sleep and cries “way more than any 19-year-old kid should.”
David Reid, 50, died in the crash around 4:20 a.m. on Jan. 23 near Steele Canyon High School, where he was a frequent volunteer.
Bellatti, a former Steele Canyon High School star pitcher, pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular.
Prosecutor Curtis Ross says it was a very tough case that would normally warrant prison time.
"A senseless, senseless death that was not an accident," said Ross.
He said Bellati got a "sweetheart deal" due only to the compassion and sympathy of the victim's widow.
Bellatti, 18 at the time of the crash, was going 80 mph on Campo Road when he illegally crossed the double yellow line to pass another car and headed straight into oncoming traffic, according to the California Highway Patrol, whose investigators said they did not believe drugs or alcohol played any role in the crash. Bellatti's red Mustang slammed into Reid's Dodge Caravan.
"The first vehicle swerved out of the way that was traveling eastbound; the second vehicle collided head-on with the Mustang," CHP officer Brian Pennings said. "The speedometer was frozen at impact. It was frozen at 80 mph.”
Bellatti had faced more than seven years in prison if had been convicted of all the charges he faced, according to prosecutors.