SEATTLE — The driver responsible for a high-speed fiery crash that killed a young couple and injured a child in Seattle was sentenced Monday to four years in prison.
In a plea bargain with King County prosecutors, Daniel Habeeb admitted there was evidence to convict him of vehicular homicide and vehicular assault.
In addition to that plea, Habeeb also pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to a second count of vehicular homicide because his lawyer argued he suffered a seizure at the time of the November 2011 crash.
It wasn't the first time.
Habeeb had also blamed a mental problem for a crash in 2009 that killed a 65-year-old woman in Seattle. He was sentenced to probation for the death of Susan Peek.
As part of the plea deal, prosecutors recommended a two-year sentence for the latest crash. With credit for time served, Habeeb would have gone free, KOMO reported. But after hearing from family members of the victims, the judge gave the 45-year-old the maximum four-year term.
A witness said Habeeb appeared to be driving at highway speed on Lake City Way when his SUV slammed into the back of a sedan stopped at a traffic light. The crash killed Laura Sheard, 26, a graduate student, and her boyfriend Kristopher Martin, 33, a musician. They were crushed and burned as their car caught fire.
Habeeb had minor cuts and bruises. His 10-year-old daughter in the SUV also was not seriously hurt, but her 11-year-old friend was injured.