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On March 10, a Burnet County jury found Sylvano Sanchez Jr. of Lampasas guilty of manslaughter in a vehicle collision that killed Sharon Johnson and her 13-year-old son, Victor. 

Sanchez was also convicted of aggravated assault of Sheldon Johnson and Sheryl Orazak, who both survived the July 2, 2018, crash on U.S. 183 south of Briggs. The Johnson family was in the process of moving to a new home in Smithville after Sheldon Johnson’s retirement as a pastor in Goldthwaite. 

Sanchez was sentenced to 50 years for each conviction in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice system, according to a media release from the District Attorney’s Office of the 33rd and 424th Judicial Districts, which includes Burnet County. The defendant had multiple felony convictions before the fatal crash.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers investigating the crash determined that Sanchez was traveling at a speed of 107 mph northbound on U.S. 183 in a pickup truck when he crossed into the southbound lanes and struck the vehicle driven by Sheldon Johnson. Johnson’s son, Victor, was killed instantly. Johnson suffered severe injuries. 

Sanchez’s truck then collided with the vehicle driven by Sharon Johnson, wife and mother of the first two victims. She was killed instantly. Her sister, Sheryl Orzak, also suffered serious injuries. 

Sanchez was transported to Ascension Seton Williamson, where he received treatment for a possible concussion, and was released the same day.

Assistant District Attorneys Peter Keim and Amanda Dillon prosecuted the case. Amber Vazquez and Meghan Roeper represented the defendant.

editor@thepicayune.com