Paso Robles teen receives 75 day sentence for cyclist’s death
Joseph Mondo will serve time in San Luis Obispo County Jail after judge ruling Thursday
–Paso Robles resident Joseph Mondo, 20, on Thursday received a 75-day jail sentence in San Luis Obispo County Jail, 50 hours community service and will pay restitution, reports say. Mondo hit and killed a cyclist in his GMC Yukon and severely injuring her companion while reaching for his cellphone on Nov. 28, 2014 on Nacimiento Lake Drive, when he was 18 years old.
Mondo pleaded no contest in March to two misdemeanor counts of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and reckless driving for the November 2014 death of Lee Hekyung Craig, 62, of Los Angeles, reports say. Superior Court Judge Donald Umhofer on Thursday, sentenced Mondo to 30 days in San Luis Obispo County Jail, plus 45 days to be served consecutively for violating his probation. He will also have to perform 50 hours of community service and pay a yet-to-be-determined amount of restitution, reports say.
Lee Hekyung Craig, 62, of Los Angeles died after being hit on her Cervelo bicycle by a 2005 GMC Yukon driven by Mondo, a second rider, Lawrence Paul Chong, 59, of Seal Beach, was also struck in the accident while riding a Trek bicycle. Chong suffered major injuries in the accident and has undergone several surgeries.
The accident occurred at about 3:10 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28, 2014, on Nacimiento Lake Drive just east of Adelaida Road. Mondo was traveling westbound. He was distracted when his cell phone slid off his lap and he attempted to retrieve it. But before he was able to get it, he was forced to take evasive action to avoid a stopped vehicle preparing to make a left turn into a private driveway. Mondo steered on to the right shoulder around the turning vehicle and again attempted to retrieve his cell phone. As he reached for it, the Yukon veered onto the shoulder and struck the two bicyclists, he turned around at Adelaida Road, returned to the scene and, realizing he had hit the bicyclists, flagged down a passing car to call 911, as his phone turned out to be dead, reports say.
Craig was pronounced deceased at the scene. Chong was taken to Sierra Vista Hospital. Alcohol and drugs were not contributing factors. The CHP estimated Mondo was traveling about 60 mph in a 55 mph zone. The impact threw Craig 126 feet and Chong about 84 feet, reports say. Mondo was on probation for a misdemeanor exhibition of speed conviction from a month earlier, and had already received several infractions for speeding and other traffic-related offenses.
Mondo is scheduled to report to jail on July 15, reports say.