BARSTOW - It was sorrow on one side of the court and apology on the other during William Anderson's sentencing Monday morning.

Anderson, 48, received a year in county jail and a six-year suspended jail sentence Monday after pleading guilty to charges of vehicular manslaughter late last year.

The District Attorney's office alleged that Anderson's acted with gross negligence when he collided with the car of Richard and Irene Wilson, both residents of Las Vegas, on Oct. 6, 2006 on State Highway 58. The collision killed Irene, 61, and sent her husband to the hospital with knee and hip injuries.

"I plea and beg that you forgive me for what I did to your family," Anderson said to Richard and members of his family during the hearing. "I am deeply deeply sorry for what I did on the highway."

Other members of Anderson family, including his wife, Rebecca, addressed Irene's family in the Barstow Courthouse on Monday. Rebecca did not face the judge, but instead, fighting back tears the entire time, spoke directly to Irene's friends and family gathered in the courtroom. She said Anderson was not a bad man but only someone who made a bad choice.

According to California Highway Patrol officer Matt Sais, Anderson attempted to pass two semi-trucks on Highway 58 near the San Bernardino County and Kern County line just after noon on Oct. 6. Anderson was westbound and crossed a double-yellow line on a blind curve when he collided head on with the Wilson's car. Irene died later at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Sais said.

Judge John Vander Feer said he had received 34 victim impact statements written by members of Irene's family and close friends. Several also spoke on Monday. During their statements, deputy district attorney Barbara McClanahan held a picture of Irene. Irene's nine-year-old grandson, Gregory Moore said he will miss hearing Irene say she loves him.

"I will never hear her say those words again because of Mr. Anderson," Moore said. "When he took my grandma her took her away from me."

Anderson looked at many of the family members delivering statements during the hearing. He often wiped tears from his eyes. As he was taken into custody, he turned and blew a kiss to his wife.

Outside the courtroom, Anderson's lawyer, Michael Evans, said his client made the plea deal to try to make things right with Irene's family.

"He wanted to bring closure to this. He wanted to take responsibility for what happened," Evans said. "He felt terrible about what happened to the family."

Kupaji Jaliwa, Anderson's cousin, said Anderson, a father of eight, had been grieving for the family since the collision happened but was unsure about the fairness of Monday's sentence.
"I don't know what is fair for a man who had never been in trouble with the law," Jaliwa said.

Richard said the sentence brought him a little closure. Others thought it was not fair that in a year, Anderson will get to come home from jail, but Irene will never come home.

"I'm glad that he got sentenced to jail," said Sonia Moore, Irene's daughter. "But you always want more."

Gregory, Irene's grandson, hopes jail will help Anderson.

"I just hope that that man going to jail will make him never make that mistake," he said.

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