FRESNO (KMJ) – Almost 200 people gathered in Northeast Fresno at Keith Tice Park as the community showed support for AB 582.
Gavin’s law is named after Clovis Unified educator Gavin Gladding, killed while jogging on Friant on Sept. 16, last year.
The hit and run driver, Rogelio Alvarez Maravilla, was suggested to be drunk at the time.
Court documents say 18 year-old Maravilla and his girlfriend were returning from a party when he struck Gladding with his truck, then left the scene.
Maravilla pleaded no contest in court to hit-and-run, and three misdemeanors of vehicular manslaughter, driving without a license and destroying evidence.
He was sentenced to three years in prison, but will likely serve less time than that.
Assembly-member Jim Patterson is behind the legislation, co-authored by three Assembly members and two state senators including Republican Andreas Borgeas, who was at the rally.
Gavin’s mother Rita Gladding was there, along with Gavin’s wife and children.
“People need to support us now and Tuesday morning,” said Gladding.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer attended the rally and said 40 percent of Fresno hit-and-run crashes in 2019 have not been solved.
“What Satan intends for evil, God will use for good,” said Chief Dyer.
On Tuesday, Assembly-member Patterson says Gavin’s Law will be heard at in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.
If approved, AB 582 would close the loophole allowing drunk drivers to flee the scene of a crime to avoid DUI charges and increase penalties for hit and run drivers, up to six years for leaving the scene and up to eight years behind bars for incidents resulting in death.
You can sign the petition at gavinslaw.com
Click to listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: