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Madison man to learn his fate for causing fatal OWI crash

MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - A 19-year-old Madison man was scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday afternoon for causing a drunk driving crash that killed four of his friends.

A Dane County jury convicted Victor Benitez in March on 13 of 17 charges against him. Authorities said he drove through two stop signs before his vehicle overturned.

Benitez was the only one in the vehicle to survive the crash, and he claimed he was not driving. Officials said he was under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time.

18-year-old Jose Cabrera-Hernandez and 17-year-old Martin Sanchez-Gutierrez, both of Madison, were killed along with 25-year-old Alan Dickson and 17-year-old Phankham Chitanavong, both of Rockford Illinois.

Benitez was convicted on 8 counts of homicide by drunk driving and using a controlled substance – four counts of causing death by driving without a license – and one charge of obstructing police.

He was acquitted on four counts of not fulfilling legal obligations after a crash. 

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