Local News

Driver sentenced to prison for fatal accident at school bus stop

Posted January 29, 2013

— A Sanford man has been sentenced to no more than 17 months in prison for a wreck last fall at a school bus stop that killed a 12-year-old boy.

Adam Kempf, a seventh-grade student at Coats-Erwin Middle School, was trying to board a bus on N.C. Highway 27 near Bill Avery Road on Oct. 25 when he was hit by a van and killed.

Fernando Ortiz-Soto swerved but couldn't avoid the boy, according to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

Ortiz-Soto pleaded guilty Monday to a felony charge of passing a stopped school bus resulting in death and a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license.

Superior Court Judge Winston Gilchrist sentenced him to between six and 17 months in prison, saying that his lack of prior criminal record precluded a longer sentence.


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  • Fireflies Rock Jan 30, 2013

    why does the lack of a prior record preclude a longer sentence? Do you think it matters to the dead boy or his family whether this man had a record or not when he broke the law and killed the child? I would be very upset if I were the family, to know that a 6-17 MONTH sentence is what happens when a child - innocent of doing anything - dies

  • Sweet summertime Jan 30, 2013

    Here we go again with the legal and illegal issue. I have to admit his sentence isn't acceptable, but we have to understand that this could happen to anyone hispanic, white or black so please keep your racial comments to yourselves.

  • kermit60 Jan 30, 2013

    17 months for driving illegally and killing a child. You can get 12 for killing your neighbors dog. Doesn't say much for the value this judge and DA put on a child.

  • goosiepop4csr Jan 30, 2013

    This man took a life,so he should get life,this young boy's life was taken away way to early,what has happened to our justice system,I don't care what color he is it's just not right,my point is he should not have been driving period,and his time is way to short for the death of a beautiful 12 year old boy.my thought's and prayer's are with the family,may he rest in peace,God Bless.

  • pipcolt Jan 29, 2013

    What a bunch of bull from the Superior Court Judge Winston Gilchrist. 17 months for a childs life. The child was 12 years old, say he would have lived to be 72. thats 60 years taken away from that child and that man only has to serve 17 months. the man had total disregard for our laws in this country when he put himself behind the wheel. Superior Court Judge Winston Gilchrist should be kicked off the bench for this low amount of time to serve.

  • zenonx6 Jan 29, 2013

    A 17 month vacation......Won't have to lift a finger. All paid for....................................................

  • bubbba Jan 29, 2013

    I was in Mexico not to long ago. The driving there is much different, not nearly as safe. No excuse for poor driving here, although I don't believe he was out to hurt anyone. He has to live with this just as you or I. The more people here, the more accidents and crime. Just a fact. Sorry for all involved, especially the child that lost his life.

  • JenA Jan 29, 2013

    I agree that the death of this little boy is too sad to fathom. Six to seventeen months in prison certainly does not seem to be enough. However, to assume this man is here illegally is racist and besides the point. The point is that justice seems so unfair and unjust in this case. May this little boy rest in peace!

  • NiceNSmooth Jan 29, 2013

    Think about the sheriff in Alamance Co being threatened and sued for his alleged propensity to stop latinos. Then think about how quick you are (or not) to scream racism about such things.

    That sheriff should be sued until he stops racially profiling Hispanics... because US citizens were being targeted

  • HANS FOR PRESIDENT!!!!! JK Jan 29, 2013

    This was a horrible accident. He wasn't speeding, he wasn't drunk, he simply didn't see the flashing lights on the school bus. Haven't we all, at some point, realized we overlooked something while driving, and were thankful it didn't cause an accident?

    Before you crank up the electric chair, why don't you ask what you're reaction would be if it were a 60 year old white grandmother?


    That's one of the most ridiculous posts I've ever read. Had he been following the law he wouldn't have been in the driver's seat and that boy would still be alive. And just because authorities estimate he wasn't speeding that doesn't mean he wasn't. Neither of you were there. As for your "white grandmother" question, if she broke the law and it resulted in a childs death she too should be punished accordingly. 17 months would be nothing less than a joke in either case. You drive early in the morning, you look out for buses. They have flippin' strobe lights on