Brian Hamacher

Ex-Chef Avoids Jail in Fatal 2012 Hit-and-Run in NW Miami-Dade

Jonathan Eismann will serve one year of probation and will not be allowed to drive for a year under the terms of the plea deal

A well-known former chef and restaurateur will avoid prison time for a fatal 2012 hit-and-run crash after accepting a plea deal with Miami-Dade prosecutors Tuesday.

Jonathan Eismann will serve one year of probation and will not be allowed to drive for a year under the terms of the plea deal. Eismann had initially been charged with vehicular homicide in the October 2012 crash that killed 29-year-old Juan Carlos Ruiz.

Eismann was allowed to address Ruiz's family at a hearing Tuesday.

"It's been six years, I can't imagine your family's pain," he said. "I'm not asking you for any forgiveness, because that would be unacceptable, I do ask that in the future you try to understand that this was an innocent accident."

Police said Eismann, driving a Ford Explorer, crashed into a Nissan Sentra at the intersection of 1st Terrace and Northwest 72nd Avenue. Eismann attempted to flee from the scene, but lost control and hit Ruiz, a pedestrian who was on the sidewalk, police said.

The family of Ruiz, who left behind a wife and child, said they weren't happy that Eismann was avoiding prison time.

"Obviously we're not happy, we've been waiting for seven years," wife Celia Guevara said. "I don't forgive what he did, I don't forgive the court, I don't forgive the justice system, as a matter of fact I feel more betrayed by them."

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