A 26-year-old Seal Beach man who caused a crash that led to the death of a German tourist in 2016 was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Friday.
Matthew Ryan Wood was driving while high on methamphetamine around 2 p.m. on December 9, 2016, when he swerved over a median on Westminster Avenue in Seal Beach and crashed head-on with a Kia Sedona, killing 19-year-old Lisa Schelhorn.
According to Wood’s lawyer, Adam Cole, Schelborn was living with a couple she knew through her church in Germany and was attending a Toastmasters International event that day, said Wood’s lawyer, Adam Cole.
Wood’s lawyer said he suffered multiple spinal injuries in the crash and may never walk again without help. He is currently using a wheelchair.
“Matthew has been very accepting of his sentence and is extremely remorseful,” Cole said.
Wood was arrested eight months after the crash by Seal Beach police who investigated the case.
In September, Wood pleaded guilty to three felony counts including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, sale or transport of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance with a firearm.
Cole said Wood is presently working towards rehabilitation and plans to send letters and updates on his progress to Schelborn’s family in Germany.
“Her parents want to know everything they can about Matthew be able to have some understanding of this situation,” he said. “They’re a very Christian family who wants to forgive him.”