BEAUFORT, SC (Oct. 22, 2020) – A Hilton Head Island man charged in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 66-year-old bicyclist has been sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Jiovaani Aranza-Gallegos, 30, was found guilty Wednesday of felony hit-and-run in a crash that killed Luis Lorenzana on Sept. 1, 2018. The Beaufort County jury also returned a guilty verdict on a charge of habitual traffic offender resulting in death.
“We quickly learned who Jiovaani Aranza-Gallegos is during this week’s trial,” said Assistant Solicitor Jared Shedd, who prosecuted the case. “He showed little remorse and clearly was unable to learn from his previous DUI convictions. Instead he chose to get behind the wheel and drive, which lead to the untimely death of a man riding his bicycle to work.”
Aranza-Gallegos’ license was suspended at the time of the deadly collision, and he had just completed probation for his fourth DUI.
Aranza-Gallegos received 20 years for each charge and was fined $15,000. He must serve 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole. The sentences are to be served concurrently.
Lorenzana was riding his bicycle on New Orleans Road at Pensacola Place when he was struck from behind by a 2008 Honda Odyssey minivan driven by Aranza-Gallegos, who drove away from the scene. Crash investigators estimated the collision happened at about 5 a.m.
Later that morning, a neighbor reported seeing Aranza-Gallegos outside washing what appeared to be blood from a minivan. Deputies arrived and reported seeing a bucket with rags near the van and a smashed windshield.
Aranza-Gallegos’ criminal record includes convictions for driving under suspension and driving under the influence in 2009; public disorderly conduct in 2011; fleeing to evade in 2013; DUI in 2013; second-degree domestic violence in 2015; DUI in 2016 and DUI in 2017.
Circuit Court Judge Carmen Mullen handed down Wednesday’s sentence.
Shedd is a member of the community prosecution team and has been with the Solicitor’s Office since 2019.