Two Bay Area men were sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison Friday for their role in a fiery collision that killed three graduate students on Interstate Highway 80 in Berkeley in 2005, according to the California Highway Patrol. Last month, Eric Barnes and Stanley Jacks were each found guilty of three counts of felony vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence in Alameda County Superior Court, according to the CHP. They received the maximum possible sentence and the judge did not allow probation, citing the horrific nature of the deaths, according to CHP spokesman Officer Sam Morgan.”If you’re out there racing, making bad choices, tragic consequences can occur,” Morgan said. He stressed that this incident was “totally avoidable.”The sequence of events leading up to the crash began with the two men racing at speeds of more than 100 mph on westbound I-80 in the early morning hours of July 16, 2005, according to the CHP.The speeding cars caused the driver of a big-rig truck to lose control, smashing through the center divider and catching fire as it crossed into the highway’s eastbound lanes near Ashby Avenue in Berkeley.Several vehicles in the eastbound lanes were unable to avoid a collision with the fiery truck.One of these was a Toyota Camry containing three graduate chemistry students from the University of California at Berkeley. Benjamin Boussert, 27, Jason Choy, 29, and Giulia Adesso, 26, were all killed when their car slammed into the burning truck.After the crash, the CHP and Alameda County District Attorney’s Office formed a special task force to investigate the collision.
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