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Thursday, April 26, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.
Man sentenced in accident where he drove with body on car
By Tim Potter and Deb Gruver
WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita doctor has pleaded no contest to misdemeanor vehicular homicide in a fatal traffic accident where he drove for three miles with a lawn service worker's body on top of his van.
Mohammad Sarrafizadeh, 67, was sentenced to one year in jail, which was suspended. He also was sentenced to 12 months of non-reporting probation.
His attorney has said that Sarrafizadeh suffered a stroke at the time of the accident that caused him to be unaware it occurred. He had also been charged with a felony — failure to stop at an accident resulting in death — but that charge was dismissed, his attorney, Dan Monnat, said Wednesday.
The legal action took place in Sedgwick County District Court on Friday, Monnat said.
Monnat read this statement: "Foremost, the hearts, prayers and apology of Dr. Sarrafizadeh and his family go out to the family of Mr. Ramon Martinez-Limon," the 31-year-old victim. "Dr. Sarrafizadeh and his family also wish to express their gratitude to the district attorney for permitting this simplified final resolution. As a result of the stroke, Dr. Sarrafizadeh suffered at the time of the accident, his condition continues to deteriorate. He can no longer practice medicine. He does not drive. He continues treatment with his doctors. He is simply not up to further litigation."
Sarrafizadeh was arrested the day after his car struck and killed Martinez-Limon in June 2011. Sarrafizadeh was driving his 22-year-old daughter, who is severely mentally disabled, to her special-needs school the morning of the accident, Monnat has said.
Police said Martinez-Limon was working near the street when a minivan struck him around 7:15 a.m. near a Hawker Beechcraft plant entrance. Martinez-Limon was apparently thrown onto the roof of the vehicle.
Witnesses saw the minivan driving with the victim on the roof and called 911, police said, adding that someone followed the vehicle to Sarrafizadeh's house.
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