Driver sentenced after couple hit on sidewalk at St. Augustine cemetery

Lawsuit against Justin Edwards seeking over $15K for victims

By Nick Jones - Digital producer, Frank Powers - Assignment manager

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - A man found guilty of DUI in a collision that forever changed the lives of a couple who was enjoying the St. Augustine Nights of Lights has been sentenced to prison, according to the St. Augustine Police Department.

Justin Lee Edwards, 29, was found guilty on two counts of DUI causing serious bodily harm, court records show. Police said he was sentenced to 7 1/2 years in prison, followed by three years of probation.

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According to police, a man and woman were struck by a truck on Jan. 29 while walking near the Tolomato Cemetery. The driver plowed through the wall of the historic cemetery.

Eight months later, police said, the couple, Zanobia Sterbia, 20, and Leigh West, 27, still haven't fully recovered, and it appears they might not make a complete recovery.

Records show a motor vehicle negligence lawsuit was filed against Edwards. It seeks in excess of $15,000, saying both victims suffered permanent injuries. News4Jax has requested comment from the family's attorney.

According to his arrest report, Edwards was pulling out of the Tolomato Cemetery parking lot and lost control, burning out his tires. His truck careened into the couple on the sidewalk, pushing them through the concrete wall and fencing surrounding the cemetery, police said.

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