A 60-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years in prison Thursday for a drunken driving crash that killed a Marine corporal, who was kept on life-support until his family could travel from China and elsewhere to say goodbye.
Kennith Allen pleaded guilty in September to gross vehicular manslaughter in the June 28 crash that killed 25-year-old Nick Kursinskis.
Allen had two prior misdemeanor drunken driving convictions in another county. Vista Superior Court Judge Michael Washington was able to point to those in his decision to sentence Allen to 10 years.
“You ripped the heart out of the people that cared about him,” Washington told Allen in front of a courtroom packed with the victim’s family, friends and co-workers.
Police said Kursinskis was on a motorcycle headed north on El Camino Real when he collided with a Dodge pickup that turned into his path at Mission Avenue about 9:30 p.m.
Authorities said the defendant had consumed five beers before getting behind the wheel of the pickup, then running a red light as he turned into the path of Kursinskis’ motorcycle.
Kursinskis was unconscious when police and paramedics arrived. He died a few days later, his family at his side. His younger brother had to fly from China, where he was working on research. His sister had just landed in Boston after spending weeks in Europe.
On Thursday, his parents, who live in Ohio, and his siblings again came to California, and spoke in court of the pain of their loss.
“It is hard to live without your child as you can imagine — multiplied by an infinite number because it is real,” mother Kristine Kursinskis.
Younger brother Jacob Kursinskis described him as his “best friend, older brother and role model.”
“Pain and loneliness have become old friends to me,” he said.
His twin sister, Alex Kursinskis, said: “I have never had such deep despair as when I laid my head on my brother’s chest as he took his last breath.”
Marine Capt. Brian Worley said the corporal was “mature, well spoken, thoughtful in his work,” and was working toward a degree in intelligence.
“We are all victimized by the loss of a good man and a patriot,” Worley said.
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