Sheriff Deputy Still Not Arrested for Alleged Fatal DUI Accident


The family of 23-year-old Ashley Wells painfully awaits justice as they mourn the loss of their daughter from a DUI accident. The tragic accident occurred in Torrance, CA, and was caused by an allegedly drunk off-duty Los Angeles sheriff deputy. And although it occurred months ago on July 8th, the family has yet to receive proper consolation.

According to investigative reports, Ashley was a passenger in a Dodge Charger when the driver lost control of the vehicle. The car went over a median and collided head-on with a light pole at the intersection of 190th Street and Crenshaw Boulevard in Torrance, CA. The crash destroyed the Charger, causing damage to all five occupants inside. Sadly, Ashley sustained life-threatening injuries and did not survive the incident. She was pronounced dead once first responders arrived at the scene of the crime. Upon investigation, officers suspected that alcohol was the leading cause of the accident.

Authorities identified the alleged DUI driver as 22-year-old off-duty Los Angeles Sheriff’s deputy Daniel Auner. The victim’s parents even had video of the off-duty deputy drinking on the night of the incident. Despite the evidence, the Torrance police investigation has been going on for months.

The young deputy has not been arrested or charged for the offenses. Instead, the department placed him on paid administrative leave while they deliberate on the case. Ashley’s mother Lanora Wells expressed her disappointment in the Los Angeles Sheriff Department’s lack of accountability for their officers’ wrongdoing.

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit is Filed

As a deputy, there is an obligation to uphold and abide by the law. This also means that one must face the consequences when one fails to follow the law. Ashley’s parents believe that the suspect has not been arrested because he is being protected by the Sheriff Department. In pursuit of justice, Ashley’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Daniel Auner. By taking matters into their own hands, they are hoping to get some form of justice for their little girl.

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DUI Driver Crashes into Apartment Building, Killing Young Girl


You would think that, in the safety of your own home, you would be able to sleep in peace. Sadly, that was not the case this past Monday for a family in Porterville, CA. On Monday Nov. 2nd, 2020 at approximately 3:45 am, Cambria Soto was sleeping peacefully in her bedroom when a drunk driver crashed into her apartment. And sadly, this crash cost the young girl her life. The tragic and untimely death of 13-year-old Cambria underscores the perils of driving while under the influence of alcohol.

According to authorities, the driver identified as 19-year-old Alexis Mendoza Tapia was driving at a dangerously high speed when he lost control of his vehicle. Reports state that Tapia jumped the curb, smashed through a fence, and traveled through the entire apartment that housed Cambria and her grandmother. The impact of the crash was so severe that it even sent a bathroom toilet flying into a neighbor’s yard.

The grandmother miraculously came out of this incident unharmed. However, Cambria suffered serious injuries. A neighbor named Antonio Ramirez rushed to her side to help in any way that he could. He told a reporter that seeing her pinned underneath the wheels of the driver’s car helplessly would haunt him forever. Other residents stated that the driver attempted to crawl out of the car to escape, but they made sure he could not flee before authorities arrived.

Once emergency personnel arrived, they immediately airlifted Cambria to a nearby hospital to receive medical attention. Unfortunately, the injuries the young girl sustained from the incident were life-threatening, and she passed away several hours later. The community has since started a GoFundMe account in hopes of helping the Soto family during this tragic time.

Young Suspect Faces Life-Changing DUI Consequences

Police arrested the teen driver and booked him into Tulare County Sheriff’s Department. He is currently being held there on a $100,000 bail. He faces serious charges of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving while under the influence. The investigation is still ongoing.

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Teen Scholar Tragically Killed in DUI Accident Days After Her Birthday


Just a few days after celebrating her 18th birthday with family and friends, Bermuda Dunes resident Briauna Ramirez was tragically killed in an accident caused by a suspected drunk driver.

According to authorities, the accident occurred at approximately 3 a.m. on Saturday, October 24th. Ramirez was riding in the front seat with friends on the 105 freeway when a 1999 Honda slammed into their car head-on.

Sadly, Ramirez did not survive the impact of the crash. Emergency personnel pronounced her dead at the scene of the crime. The other passengers also suffered serious injuries, but fortunately they stabilized once they received treatment at a nearby hospital. For the time being, the authorities have withheld the passengers’ identities upon further investigation.

California Highway Patrol identified the driver of the 1999 Honda as a 24-year-old resident of West Covina. Authorities transported him to St. Francis Medical Center to receive medical attention for his moderate injuries. After the completion of his treatment, authorities arrested him on suspicion of drunk driving. He likely faces a few of the harshest DUI penalties someone can receive – a felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Ramirez’s close friends set up a GoFundMe account in an effort to help her family during their time of bereavement. Her friends told reporters that “she’s a force in all aspects, she excelled in everything she did and her heart shined through.” Briauna Ramirez will be remembered as a kind-hearted inspiring individual.

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Single Mother of Five Killed in Fatal DUI Crash in Sonora


Five children must sadly spend the upcoming holidays without their loving mother due to a deadly DUI accident. The tragedy occurred this past Monday evening in Sonora, California.

Melissa Katherine Marie Patania, 33, and four of her children were traveling eastbound on Phoenix Lake Road when their Suzuki SUV was tragically hit. At approximately 6:15 p.m., a Toyota pickup truck struck them head-on, causing serious damage. The suspect, identified as 19-year-old Augustus Matthew Marinovich, had been traveling westbound dangerously fast at the time of the crash. Reports stated that the driver lost control of his truck before swerving and slamming into the victim’s vehicle.

Patania suffered from severe injuries as a result of the hit. When emergency personnel arrived, they attempted life-saving measures, but it proved to do little given Patania’s state. They transported her to a nearby hospital where she later died. Her four children, ages 6 to 13, were all airlifted to UC Davis Medical Center with serious injuries. Some of them have since undergone multiple surgeries.

According to CHP, Marinovich also suffered major injuries from the impact of the collision. Emergency personnel provided medical treatment to stabilize his condition. Soon after, authorities placed him under arrest and charged him with a felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

Looking Toward Recovery

Fortunately, the four children are stabilized and recovering from this traumatic event. They may, however, never recover from losing their only parent. A GoFundMe page has been set up by Melissa Patania’s family to help with expenses. Her mother made it clear that her primary focus is now helping her grandchildren survive this. She stated, “we are going to fight for those kids and we are going to raise them and they are never going to forget their mother.”

It is unfortunate that this family had to go through such a traumatic experience. This tragedy may serve as a reminder to not drink and drive – for the safety of others and of yourself. There are other accessible alternatives that should be utilized after a night out drinking. Due to this young man’s decision to drive, multiple people’s lives have been changed forever, including his own.

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A Mother-to-be Tragically Killed by Alleged Drunk Driver


On Monday, September 7th, 2020, an expectant mother was struck and killed by a suspected drunk driver in Lancaster, California. Sadly, she and her unborn child died from the severe injuries they sustained from the accident. After the DUI suspect slammed into the victim’s car, he fled the scene of the crime. 

Investigative reports state that a deputy spotted the man driving recklessly at approximately 9:45 p.m. as he was traveling eastbound. The deputy and his partner attempted to stop the man, but the DUI suspect resisted, leading to a dangerous pursuit. The suspect continued to maneuver erratically in an attempt to flee from authorities. 

According to a sheriff’s statement, the vehicle traveled a considerable distance away from the deputies before the collision occurred. When the pickup truck approached a red traffic signal, it failed to stop and drove through the intersection of 10th Street and West Ave. Unfortunately, the vehicle collided with a red Dodge Avenger as a result. The DUI suspect fled the scene of the crash on foot, leaving the seriously injured victim for dead. Once emergency personnel arrived, they transported the pregnant victim to Antelope Valley where she and her unborn child ultimately succumbed to their injuries the following morning. 

Investigators are currently working on locating the DUI driver, and traffic detectives are investigating the circumstances of the crash. During the ongoing investigation, authorities have decided to withhold the victim’s identity.

Fleeing from a deadly crash is an aggravating factor that can significantly increase the suspect’s DUI penalties. When found, the suspect will need representation capable of preparing a strong defense. Although difficult, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor provide are highly experienced in navigating cases such as this.

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