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Meridian man sentenced for crash that killed teenage passengers

Thomas Hunt, 21, ran a stop sign moments before the collision that killed two of his friends, according to prosecutors.
Credit: Ada County Jail
Thomas Hunt

NAMPA, Idaho — A Meridian man who ran a stop sign moments before a crash that killed two of his friends riding in his SUV was sentenced Monday to 10 days in jail.

Thomas L. Hunt, 21, will spend four years on supervised probation and have his driver's license suspended for a year. He was also ordered to complete 600 hours of community service, pay a $1,000 fine, and complete the Alive at 25 driving safety program.

The deadly crash happened south of Nampa in July of 2018. According to Idaho State Police, Hunt was driving north on Robinson Road when he failed to stop at the stop sign and continued into the intersection. 

Hunt's Chevrolet Trailblazer was T-boned in the intersection by a vehicle headed east on Kuna Road. Traffic on Kuna Road was not required to stop.

RELATED: Meridian man charged with manslaughter in crash that killed 2 teens

No one in Hunt's SUV was wearing a seatbelt. Two of his passengers, 18-year-old Zachary Newman and 17-year-old Makaiya Lucas, were thrown from the vehicle in the crash. Both died at the scene. 

Hunt and two other teens in his SUV were taken to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center by ambulance.

The occupants of the other vehicle, Jacob Ware, Jennifer Ware, and two children, were also taken to the hospital in a personal vehicle. 

RELATED: Police: 2 killed, 7 injured in Canyon County crash

Hunt was charged with two counts of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in July 2019 following an investigation by Idaho State Police.

According to the crash report, it was dark when the collision happened, and that the intersection is in an area with no streetlights. Hunt was not impaired by alcohol or drugs, and was not texting or distracted by anything when he ran the stop sign, according to police. 

"This was a tragic incident that claimed the lives of two of Mr. Hunt's young friends and forever changed the lives of so many others," said Prosecutor Bryan Taylor. "This is something that Mr. Hunt will have to live with for the rest of his life. He has taken full responsibility, and I'm hopeful he can use this experience to educate others about the dangers of distracted driving."

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