A tow truck driver walks past a car loaded onto his truck at the scene of an auto accident that killed three people on Foothill Blvd near A street on
A tow truck driver walks past a car loaded onto his truck at the scene of an auto accident that killed three people on Foothill Blvd near A street on Wednesday December 23, 2009 in Hayward, Calfornia. (Aric Crabb/Staff File)

HAYWARD -- A 25-year-old Hayward man was sentenced Tuesday to 110 years to life in prison for killing three passengers in a police chase that ended when his car plowed into the undercarriage of a big rig.

Leo Ray Olguin was convicted Dec. 19 of three counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Andrew Falcon, 17, of Livermore; Dominic Hall, 18, of Hayward; and Vanessa Hurtado, 16, of San Leandro.

A fourth passenger, a woman, was seriously injured in the Dec. 23, 2009, crash.

"I've been waiting for this day for a long time," Paula Baxter, Hurtado's mother, said after the hearing. "Nothing can ever bring my daughter back, but I'm glad he got a long time. I can rest assured that he will never get out and no one else will ever have to go through what I've been through," she said.

Before he was sentenced, Olguin apologized to the victims' families.

"I'm sorry. I understand the grief you're going through. I never had no intention of hurting anybody that night," he said. "I'm sorry. I know it won't fix anything."

Olguin's mother, Delores Olguin, also spoke to the victims' families. "On behalf of my son and family, we would like to express our deepest condolences on your loss," she said, crying. "My son is not a monster. He's a beautiful, loving person."

Prosecutors said the crash occurred after Olguin sped away in a Mazda sedan with four passengers when sheriff's deputies tried to stop him for a traffic violation about 12:15 a.m. in unincorporated Hayward. At the time, deputies didn't know that, about 30 minutes earlier, two of Olguin's passengers, Falcon and Hall, had gotten out of the car and robbed three men standing near Whitman Street and Cody Road.

Deputies said after the crash that Olguin was trying to flee deputies because of the robbery. A gun was found in the Mazda, along with the identification card of one of the robbery victims.

Olguin drove through seven traffic lights and stop signs and was traveling an estimated 75 mph when he ran a red light at Foothill Boulevard and A Street in Hayward, according to the district attorney's office. The top of the Mazda was torn off when it slid under the tractor-trailer.

Olguin walked away from the crash with only minor injuries, possibly because he had ducked, police said.

Deputy District Attorney Armando Pastran, who tried the case, called the sentence appropriate, pointing out that Olguin had fled from police 10 days before the crash.

"What he did that night was incredibly dangerous not only to the people in his car, but also to citizens in the area," Pastran said. "It was appropriate in this case to call it murder, especially since he had coke, methamphetamine, alcohol and marijuana in his system."

A prior carjacking conviction doubled the minimum sentence from 55 years to 110 years, Pastran said.

In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Roy Hashimoto called the Olguin decision to run and the resulting deaths "a sad, sad case."

"I don't see you as a monster, but you're still a dangerous person," he said to Olguin. "You basically were being a street thug. ... I know deep down, you feel horrible about killing your three friends.".

In court, several of Hurtado's relatives wore shirts featuring her image and bracelets that read, "In loving memory of Vanessa Hurtado."

Outside court, Hurtado's mother dismissed Olguin's apology.

"I know he said he was sorry, but that doesn't do anything for me," Baxter said. "My granddaughter, Juliana, is forever denied the love of her mother."

The girl, now 4, was 18 months old when her mother was killed.

Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.