Connecticut Post (Sunday)

Bridgeport man gets 2 years for fatal crash


BRIDGEPORT — A local man who killed an elderly Prospect woman while racing on a city street was sentenced to two years in prison during an emotional court hearing Friday.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t want this to happen. I wish I could trade places with her,” 21-year-old Rolando Solano told the victim’s family, wiping tears from his eyes.

“You appear to be sincere Mr. Solano. I hope you are sincere, but only you know how sincere you are,” Superior Court Judge Peter McShane told the defendant. “I hope indeed you use this as an opportunit­y to move forward.”

The judge sentenced Solano, who had pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a motor vehicle to 10 years, suspended after he serves two years in prison and followed by five years of probation.

According to police, shortly before 3 p.m. on

Oct. 14, 2020, 79-year-old Sydell Kugell and her 82year-old husband, Louis Kugell, were on their way home after visiting a relative when their car was struck in the side by a car driven by Solano.

Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Cunniff told the judge Solano was driving at nearly 100 mph in a 30-mph zone when he struck the Kugells’ car.

Police said the couple had to be cut out of their car and the female victim was screaming for help. Police said when they got to the scene three occupants of Solano’s car were walking around the scene. One of them complained, “There goes the race,” police said.

Cunniff urged the judge to impose a five-year prison term “based on the severity of the defendant’s conduct and the tragedy he caused.”

Crying, Louis Kugell told the judge that the pain of what happened that day will never go away for him.

“This has been a life sentence for me,” he said.

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