Accused is DUI Suspect Denies Being the Driver

English: A sobriety checkpoint in East Haven, ...

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A man charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is denying being the driver.

The crash occurred on November 8, 2011. Angel Alberto Cruz Perez of Santa Ana drank 24 beers with his friend at a Santa Ana restaurant. The two friends were drinking at Mariscos Ensenada Restaurant in Santa Ana. They started around 3p.m., and they left the restaurant around 6:20 p.m. Perez allegedly drove away in his 1998 Toyota 4Runner with his friend sitting in the passenger seat.

Perez drove north of Bewley Street. He failed to yield for a young mother and her two young children. The mother was attempting to cross the street. She was carrying her 1 year old daughter in her arm and holding her 2 year old son’s hand with the other hand.

According to witnesses, Perez ran the stop sign and collided into the young mother and her son. The son was pulled under the vehicle upon impact. The mother and daughter were knocked onto the front hood of the SUV. Instead of stopping, Perez turned left and fled the scene. The mother and daughter were thrown onto the street.

Perez continued to drive to his home. Luckily, witnesses were able to provide the license plate number and a description of the vehicle. Perez was quickly found by the authorities. He was given a sobriety test and failed it.

The young son was taken to the UCI Medical Center in Orange. He died during the transport. The young mother suffered some abrasions to her knees. Luckily, her daughter was not harmed.

Perez was charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury and hit and run with permanent injury or death. He also faces a misdemeanor count of driving without a license.

Perez’s defense attorney is contending that Perez’s friend was in the driver’s seat the time. According to the defense attorney, the police jumped to conclusions during the investigation. The trial is still ongoing. Perez could face up to 16 years in prison and may also face a sentencing enhancement.

This is a very unfortunate situation. Drunken driving has caused significant damage and loss throughout the United States. If you spot a drunken driver, pull over. Do not try to confront the driver. If you can note the license plate, make and model of the car, and the location of the car, call 911 and report all this information.

If you are a victim of a car accident, contact a Santa Ana car accident lawyer.


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