A 29-year-old mother was tragically killed in a car accident on the night of Sept. 9, and the other driver is facing serious potential charges. Police in Hemet, California, confirmed the alleged drunk driver of the other vehicle has been taken into custody and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol. He is being held against $75,000 bail.
According to the accident report, officers responded to a 911 call around 8:30 the night of Sept. 9, only to discover the woman’s minivan partially on fire with her trapped inside. The woman had been headed northbound when a fast-moving vehicle driven by a 28-year-old boxer veered into the northbound lanes and collided head-on with her vehicle. The force of the impact crushed the victim’s legs beneath the dashboard, forcing firefighters to use the jaws of life to extricate her. She was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was later pronounced dead.
The woman was 8 months pregnant at the time of the accident, and the fetus also did not survive the crash. This led authorities to upgrade the charges against the man from DUI and causing a collision with major injuries to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Police did not mention how they determined his allegedly intoxicated state, but he was taken to a local hospital for treatment of minor injuries so it seems likely a blood test would have been performed. This test will be a critical part of the prosecution’s case against him if it is deemed admissible in court.
However, drunk driving cases are not always so clear-cut. It will be up to the California prosecutors to prove conclusively that the man was indeed a drunk driver that was intoxicated at the time of the crash. If they are not able to do so, particularly if the tests required to prove such an allegation were performed incorrectly or out of accordance with the man’s rights, the evidence could be deemed inadmissible. This could lead the court to lower the charges against him, or to drop them altogether.