LAS VEGAS – A driver pleaded guilty on his 20th birthday to felony charges that could get him 40 years in state prison for plowing a car into a Las Vegas restaurant, injuring 10 people at lunch hour, while he was under the influence of prescription drugs, marijuana and synthetic spice.
Gage James Lindsey pleaded guilty Thursday in Clark County District Court to two felony charges of driving under the influence causing substantial bodily harm in the April 1, 2013, crash at the restaurant a few blocks west of the Las Vegas Strip.
Prosecutors dropped four other felony charges as part of the plea deal that avoided trial.
Lindsey's attorney, Sean Sullivan, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (http://bit.ly/1hjopN3 ) he'll seek leniency and a two-to-20 year prison term at sentencing July 31. Sullivan didn't immediately respond Friday to messages from The Associated Press.
Prosecutor Eric Bauman said he expects crash victims will be at Lindsey's sentencing to tell Judge Valerie Adair how the crash affected them.
Lindsey had Xanax and more than three times the legal limit of marijuana in his blood when the 1993 Lexus sedan he was driving veered into the Egg & I restaurant on Sahara Avenue, prosecutors said.
Witnesses and crash investigators said the vehicle jumped a median into oncoming traffic, struck a Mitsubishi sedan and a Ford pickup truck, and crashed through an outdoor patio seating area into the eatery.
One witness told AP she was dining with her sisters inside the restaurant when she saw the car hurtling toward a picture window and then crash through the glass, its engine still revving.
Rescuers pulled several people out from underneath the car, which ended up balanced on a patio chair. Police said one victim had a collapsed lung and fractures in his spine, arm and shoulders, while several other victims had broken bones.
Lindsey and a 21-year-old passenger tried to flee but were caught by restaurant patrons and passers-by.
The passenger wasn't hurt in the crash and wasn't charged with a crime.