The man who drove into and critically injured a young Philadelphia Phillies fan following a San Francisco Giants game last August will serve a year in county jail after pleading guilty Wednesday to felony drunken driving.
Andrew Vargas, 22, of Hayward pleaded guilty to driving under the influence causing injury, and admitted an allegation that he inflicted great bodily injury on 9-year-old Ryan White.
Vargas’ white pickup truck struck White at New Montgomery and Mission streets at 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 4, 2011, according to police. He then struck several parked vehicles before driving back to Hayward, where he was arrested.
White, now 10, is out of the hospital but “still has a long road of recovery ahead of him,” prosecutor Omid Talai said. White’s family agreed with the settlement, he said.
“We are very, very sorry for what has happened to Mr. White’s family, for Ryan White,” said Vargas’ mother Xiomara Vargas outside court. “We think the most important thing is he will recover now. This has been a very, very sad time for everybody. For them, for us.” She then broke into tears.
Vargas, a Cal State East Bay graduate, had also been charged with felony hit-and-run, but that charge was dismissed under the plea deal. Vargas had been drinking with a friend that night, and a nearly empty bottle of Jägermeister was found in his truck, according to Talai.
“Andrew is not a horrible person but he made a horrible mistake,” Talai said. “There’s consequences for those actions. … This could have been prevented, with better judgment.”
Vargas’ mother said her son never realized he had hit White. “He started crying right away, because, you know, he never knew that he hurt somebody,” she said.
He has remained in custody since his arrest and, with credit for time already served, could get out of jail in the next few months. He also will pay restitution to White’s family and do community service, which will involve speaking to youth groups about this incident.