The man who caused a deadly crash and the parents of the young men he killed, faced each other in court at the Hall of Justice. This was sentencing day for former pharmacist Herman Bank, found guilty of driving the wrong way on I-590 while high on cocaine.
Since May of 2007, family and friends of Henry Rivera and Pedro Hernandez have been waiting to hear what this man had to say. Herman Bank is the former pharmacist found guilty of driving the wrong way on Route 590 while high on cocaine. The violent crash killed the two young men and injured their friend, Ashley Bleier.
“Two innocent peoples lives could be snuffed out so quickly because someone was so selfish. It was a random act. It could happen to anybody," says assistant district attorney Julie Finocchio.
Bank faced sentencing on eight counts including manslaughter. In court, Rivera's father said to Banks, “I hope you can find some redemption one day. For your drug addiction, my son and his friend paid with their lives. We're sentenced to a lifetime
without our son.” Then he said, “You are forgiven."
Bank who had been in two other crashes because of his cocaine use told the families in court, "I am so sorry for this accident. I never intended to hurt anyone." To Mr. Rivera he said, “I remember once during the trial we looked at each other eye to eye. I remember your eyes filled with pain and anger. I will never forget those eyes."
The judge gave Bank the maximum allowed by law. After serving five years in prison, the parole board will decide if Bank deserves his freedom or more days behind bars, up to 15 years worth.
For the victim’s families, no amount of time can bring back their boys.
Migdalia Rivera is Henry’s mother.
“Like he said the eyes of my husband.
They weren't the eyes of my husband. They were the eyes of Henry my son
who looked at him and said, 'you will pay for what you did and what
you're putting my parents through'."
Hernandez has two brothers who live out of town. His mother doesn't speak English well but wanted everyone to know she misses her son.
Henry Rivera also has a brother Josh. Their dad now wears Rivera's high school ring. Engraved inside the words “Never Lose Faith.” Rivera says he lives by those words...and had to forgive Bank.
“He's forgiven. It's on him the defendant. He's no part of our lives."
Finally, two years after the deadly crash.