Driver sentenced for killing cyclist

Posted at: 02/04/2013 6:59 PM
By: Erica Zucco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A Laguna man has been sentenced for driving carelessly and killing a young man who was riding his bicycle through Laguna Pueblo with other bicyclists for charity.

KOB Eyewitness News 4 was in the courtroom when the sentencing of driver Gilbert Waconda took place.

Waconda was driving in 2010 when he hit and killed John Anczarski, 19, of Ringtown, Pennsylvania.

Before the sentencing, Anczarski's dad read a letter from his mother and showed  the court videos friends had made in memory of Johnny.

They showed him in his hometown, growing up, during his time as an Eagle Scout, biking and serving the community. 

Anczarski and his friends had started a project called "Pedals for Pink" and were raising money for breast cancer.

They were riding through Laguna Pueblo as Waconda was rushing to handle a family emergency. Anczarski was hit and died later in an Albuquerque hospital.

In October 2011, Waconda signed a plea deal making him guilty of negligent homicide. He was given a maximum sentence of 182 days in jail and a $3,000 dollar fine, in addition to probation.

At Monday's sentencing, a judge gave Waconda the full time, but converted that $3,000 dollar fine to 600 hours of community service.

Anczarski's father, also named John, spoke out after the hearing.

"Johnny would probably forgive Waconda for what he did," Anczarski said. "But I'm not the man my son was."