South City man slapped with 16 months for drunken driving rampage 

A vodka-guzzling South City man was slapped with a 16-month state prison sentence Thursday for plowing into a young couple with his minivan as they chased their dog across the street.

Richard Joseph Cronin, 53, pleaded no contest to multiple felony DUI charges following the horrific hell-drive in February that caused a couple in their 20s to “fly up in the air,” said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Cronin downed two bottles of vodka before colliding into the 21-year-old woman and her 23-year-old boyfriend on Radburn Drive around 6:10 p.m., South City cops said.

A friend of the victims called 911. The pedestrians’ injuries included spinal chord damage and a broken hip, Wagstaffe said.

The minivan rampage continued up the street, police said. As Cronin allegedly fled on Gellert Avenue, his minivan struck a car at the intersection of Marbella Street, Wagstaffe said.

There was a red light, but Cronin “did not brake or slow down and slammed into the rear of [the] car, injuring a passenger,” he said.

The passenger suffered bruising and pain.

Cronin again fled the crash scene, authorities said. However, the minivan was badly damaged, and so Cronin allegedly abandoned it in the parking lot at Westborough Square Shopping Center in Daly City.

Cops found him hiding in bushes, Wagstaffe said.

His blood alcohol level tested at .21 percent, police said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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