Alleged Drunk Driver Crashed into Trees, Killed Passenger

About two weeks ago on May 23rd, a suspected drunk driving accident occurred in Trinity County, California. The single vehicle rollover crash resulted in the tragic death of one person and the severe injury of another.

The incident happened at approximately 6 p.m. on Highway 2 near Slate Creek Road. Officials identified the alleged drunk driver as 33-year-old Mayra Romero-Garcia. Reports reveal that Romero-Garcia was driving a Chevrolet pickup truck traveling southbound at an accelerated speed when she suddenly lost control of her vehicle.

The truck drifted across the yellow center line and veered onto the wrong side of the road. When Romero-Garcia attempted to regain control, she overcorrected and slammed into several trees along the side of the road. 

When the first responders arrived at the scene, they found a male passenger unconscious. Sadly, the impact of the single vehicle rollover crash resulted in the immediate death of the passenger whose identity remains unknown. Romero-Garcia sustained severe, but non-life threatening injuries from the tragic accident. Paramedics transported her to Mercy Medical Center in Redding to provide medical treatment for her injuries. 

Authorities later arrested Romero-Garcia for driving under the influence of alcohol and causing the death of her passenger. The investigation is still ongoing, and we are hopeful that the family of the victim will receive adequate justice for their loss. No one should have to stomach the pain of losing a loved one to an incident that is 100% avoidable.

If you find yourself facing a DUI situation like this case, it is important that you find an attorney that will represent you in an understanding and practiced manner. At the Law Offices of Taylor and Taylor, our team of experienced attorneys and DUI experts are prepared to help you navigate the situation and show support.

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The Dangers and Consequences of Getting Repeat DUIs

It is important that people understand the dangers of repeat DUIs. In California particularly, legislators have made an effort to curb repeat offenses by discussing ways to prevent them and drafting policy restrictions. One representative said, “If someone gets a DUI and pays their debt to society, then that’s a mistake worthy of forgiveness. If someone gets five DUIs, then that’s probably a character trait and they are a threat to our communities.” This statement reflects the seriousness of repeat DUIs. 

Over in Salt Lake City, a three-time DUI offender was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for hitting and killing a five-year-old boy while driving intoxicated. The man had been drinking the morning of the accident and, on his route, he hit a mother and her little boy while they were enjoying a bike ride. Unfortunately, the boy passed from his injuries and the mother suffered serious injuries.

Another incident of repeat DUI occurred just a few days ago. This time, the driver had five prior DUIs. Some might wonder how it is possible to get a fifth Driving Under the Influence violation. You read that correctly, a fifth drunk driving offense. How does an intoxicated person get behind the wheel, time and time again? For a man in Delaware, this is his unfortunate truth. 

On May 31, police responded to a single-vehicle crash around 9:30 pm. When police contacted the driver, he appeared confused and inattentive. After a DUI investigation, the police discovered that the driver had four previous DUI charges. A search of his vehicle also revealed that he had drug paraphernalia in his possession. Fortunately, no other person was harmed in the course of the crash. The police consequently charged him with several offenses, including fifth offense of DUI and driving while suspended.

What are Possible Penalties You May Face for Repeat DUIs?

The penalty upon conviction of a fifth DUI offense in Delaware includes fines from $3,500 to $10,000; 3 to 5 years in prison; revocation of driver’s license for 5 years; possible ignition interlock requirement after reinstatement of license; and an alcohol evaluation and treatment program. 

Although these penalties seem steep, they pale in comparison to what other states impose for repeated DUI offenses. For example, in California, the penalties for a fourth DUI offense include: 

  • License suspension of up to 4 years
  • Possible permanent license suspension
  • Up to 16 months in state prison
  • Fines and fees of up to $18,000
  • 30 months of DUI school
  • Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle
  • 3-5 years DUI probation
  • Status as a convicted felon

Based on the state where the offense occurred, the consequences of a repeat DUI vary. Judges are generally not inclined to show leniency to repeat offenders. In California, past DUI convictions can be used to enhance the penalties of an offense in the future. Other states have sought more serious criminal charges for fatal DUI crashes.

A person can still be rehabilitated, but first, the state needs to make sure they are no longer a danger to themselves or others. Repeat DUI offense penalties are designed to discourage drivers from getting behind the wheel after drinking.

Whether you are dealing with a first or fifth time DUI charge, an experienced attorney can help you navigate the situation. We invite you to meet with us to discuss options for fighting your DUI case. A DUI doesn’t have to be a life-long disaster.

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DUI Driver Released after Crashing in Front of Sacramento CHP Building

The holidays are a dangerous time to be on the road. While Memorial Day is an enjoyable major holiday, statistics prove it to be one of the deadliest because people are driving while intoxicated at an alarmingly high rate. Therefore, we must raise awareness of DUIs during Memorial Day weekend.

In an effort to prevent impaired and reckless driving, local law enforcements typically increase patrolling during this time period. Their primary goal during the holiday weekend is to reduce injuries and fatalities especially since many civilians are the road.

Ironically, on May 23rd, 2020, a woman allegedly crashed outside of the California Highway Patrol (CHP) office around 1:15 a.m. Authorities later identified her as Joannie Marie Sanchez.

Although no injuries were reported, officers conducted a DUI investigation after detecting a strong odor of alcohol on Sanchez’s breath. Shortly after the crash, the officers ushered Sanchez into the CHP office and administered a chemical blood test. The test confirmed their suspicion that she had been driving while under the influence. 

Sanchez was then arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and operating a vehicle without an ignition interlock device. 

However, due to the Sacramento County recommendations regarding limited jail populations because of COVID-19, Sanchez was cited and then released. She is just one of many to be arrested for DUIs during Memorial Day weekend. Remember to stay safe and practice safety during these times, everyone.

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Four of Five Passengers Fatally Die in Quadruple DUI Crash

On May 13th, 2020, four people were tragically killed in a suspected DUI crash in San Jose, California

The driver (identified as Rabbi Kumar Khanna, 26) was traveling at a dangerously high speed of 100 miles per hour in a 2005 Dodge Durango with five passengers. At approximately 10:15 p.m., he suddenly lost control of his vehicle. The SUV then overturned and rolled over several times.

As a result, three of the male passengers died upon impact—one of whom was ejected from the SUV during the tragic accident. A female passenger sustained severe injuries and sadly succumbed to them a few hours after receiving extensive medical treatment. The Santa Clara County Medical examiner’s office identified the victims who died as Johnnie Perez Damian, 26, Amador Landa, 26, Isaac Landa, 25 and Shannon Galbraith, 25. 

Unlike the other victims, Khanna only suffered minor injuries as did one other 24-year-old male passenger whose identity remains unknown. 

Shortly after the deadly crash, police arrested Khanna on suspicion of driving under the influence. Investigators reported that his breath tests revealed a blood-alcohol content of 0.206—a concentration well over the .08 legal limit. 

Furthermore, investigators reported that Khanna drove with a suspended license; the courts had suspended it after a DUI conviction in 2018.

An Unconventional Type of Charge

DUI defendants are typically charged with vehicular manslaughter even in the case of fatal incidents. However, since this was not Khanna’s first offense, prosecutors filed an unconventional kind of murder charge against him. 

On May 15th, Khanna was charged on four counts of murder and two counts of felony DUI causing injury. According to custody records, he will remain in the Santa Clara County Main Jail without the option of bail. 

Driving while intoxicated is an act that comes with the potential of deadly consequences. In this case, four young victims lost their lives and their heartbroken families will never be the same. It is important to keep people safe by not driving after a night out of drinking.  The victims’ families have since curated GoFundMe pages and other fundraisers to raise money for their burials. 

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Popular YouTube Star Dies in Fatal DUI Crash on Birthday

Renowned YouTube star Corey La Barrie tragically died last week on his 25th birthday after being involved in a car crash with an alleged drunk driver on May 10th. The alleged drunk driver was identified as 27-year-old Daniel Silva—a popular tattoo artist and close friend of La Barrie. According to reports, the two were traveling together with La Barrie riding passenger before the tragic accident took place.

The crash occurred at the corner of Huston Street and Carpenter Avenue in North Hollywood at approximately 9:39 p.m. Police investigators reported that Silva was traveling in a 2020 McLaren 6000LT at an accelerated speed when he lost control of his vehicle. Silva then ran off the road and collided with a stop sign and a tree. 

Witnesses reported that Silva attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by a passerby who came to help before first responders arrived at the scene. After authorities arrived, they transported both La Barrie and Silva to a local hospital for medical treatment. 

Unfortunately, the injuries La Barrie sustained from the crash were extensive. Medical professionals pronounced him dead at the hospital. 

Following the incident, officials arrested Silva and charged him with murder. If convicted, Silva can face a possible maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Silva was initially being held in jail on a $200,000 bail, however, his bail has since been increased to $2 million.

Condolences from Friends and Family

Countless fans of La Barrie offered their condolences under his last YouTube video that was posted one day before his death.

La Barrie’s brother wrote in his Instagram post: “My brother Corey passed away last night in a car accident with his drunk friend driving. I don’t know how I’m supposed to do this without you… life’s never gonna be the same without you. R.I.P” No one should have to bury their family member due to negligence and poor decision making. Please do your part and do not operate a vehicle while under the influence.

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