On November 25, 2017, Fred Lowe was driving on Interstate highway 80 in San Pablo when he suddenly sideswiped another car. The Nissan Rouge he sideswiped ran over the center divide into westbound traffic, colliding with passing vehicles. This led to a cascade of actions, unfortunately involving five vehicles total. Debris scattered across several hundred feet on both side of the highway.
After the collision, Lowe fled the scene and tried to get far away from the accident. Law enforcement eventually tracked him and his damaged car to a residential neighborhood, and later arrested him. Reports showed that Lowe’s blood alcohol content was at 0.14 percent, drawn only hours after the crash. Prosecutors believed that his level might have been as high as 0.24 at the time of the crash.
All four fatalities came from the Nissan Rouge: Daryl Horn, 50, his son Joseph, 14, his brother in law Troy Biddle, 52, and his nephew Baden Biddle, 12. The driver of the Nissan, Jared Horn, was the only survivor of the vehicle. The Horns and Biddles had been on their way home from an annual basketball tournament.
According to his legal team, Lowe had a lengthy history of drunk driving and of mental illness. He had his driver’s license revoked eleven times, had multiple DUI convictions, and had seven felony convictions. During the trial, his attorney asked for 15 years to life, while the prosecution pushed for 125 years to life.
Judge John Kennedy sentenced Lowe to 135 years to life after a jury trial convicted him of murder, driving under the influence, and hit and run. His harsh sentence was imposed due to the number of victims as well as to his history. Prior to the incident, Lowe had had numerous chances to change his ways and prevent himself from endangering others.