WAILUKU - A Haiku man was taken into custody Tuesday to serve a six-month jail term for a drunken crash last year that left a motorcyclist with lasting injuries.
"Every hour I think about the person I injured. Every hour, every day," John Richard Zangrando, 63, said in court. "I'm not blaming alcohol. It's my bad judgment."
Zangrando had pleaded no contest to first-degree negligent injury and drunken driving in connection with the May 19, 2011, crash at Puunene and Kaahumanu avenues in Kahului.
Zangrando was seen running a red light as he drove north on Puunene Avenue, colliding at the intersection with a motorcyclist who had a green light as he headed east, said Deputy Prosecutor Mark Simonds.
"His motorcycle was thrown over the concrete median," Simonds said.
He said the motorcyclist lost his right leg, which was amputated that night, and has another amputation scheduled. "His life has changed significantly," Simonds said.
Defense attorney David Sereno said Zangrando tried to help the victim by telling the truth about what happened that night.
Sereno asked that Zangrando be spared a jail term so he could continue work repairing musical instruments for Kamehameha Schools Maui and maintaining his residence so it wouldn't go into foreclosure. The work would help him pay restitution to the victim, Sereno said.
"A lesson has been learned," Sereno said.
Simonds asked that Zangrando be sentenced to the jail term.
"He made a poor choice to consume either two or four glasses of gin at the Kiwi Roadhouse, and he made a poor choice to get behind the wheel of his vehicle," Simonds said. "And he made a poor choice when he decided he could drive that night. This was someone who should have known better."
For a prior DUI conviction in 1997, Zangrando was fined $850 and ordered to complete a driver education course, Simonds said.
While acknowledging Zangrando's remorse, 2nd Circuit Judge Joseph Cardoza said the six-month jail term was a just sentence.
He said that Zangrando, as someone well-liked and in contact with many people, could draw on his experience to talk to others about the serious consequences of drinking and driving.
"Throughout life, you will have the opportunity to repeat that message," the judge told Zangrando. "You'll never know what you have prevented, but in certain instances, you will have reached people.
"You have the power to create something positive from this experience."
As part of his sentence, Zangrando was ordered to pay a $150 fine and was placed on five years' probation.
Cardoza said he would allow Zangrando to drive if he installs an ignition interlock device.
The prosecution can seek additional restitution for the victim if amounts aren't recovered through a pending lawsuit.
* Lila Fujimoto can be reached at email@example.com.