A man accused of hit-and-run in Westminster, Orange County, California
has been arrested. Police apprehended the suspect at a bar. He was identified
as the man who fatally struck a pedestrian and then fleeing the scene
of the accident. The pedestrian who was fatally struck was crossing the
street legally at a marked crosswalk. Citizens who witnessed the accident
ran to administer CPR on the victim.
Ambulances arrived at the scene and transported him to a hospital, but
he was later pronounced dead due to severe head trauma. In most hit-and-run
cases, the driver flees the scene in their vehicle. This was not the case
in this incident. The driver left his truck at the scene and then proceeded
to flee on foot. What is also interesting is that the driver of the truck
had a passenger with him, and that passenger stayed at the scene to help
police with their investigation.
The man has since been charged with manslaughter as well as a felony hit-and-run.
These types of accidents are commonly associated with drunk driving, but
there is no indication that the driver was intoxicated at the time of
the accident, although he did flee to a bar after the fact.
Vehicular manslaughter can be charged in conjunction with DUI, but not in all cases.
According to the California Penal Code § 191.5, manslaughter is not
the intended or premeditated killing of another individual, but rather
death caused by negligent or carless actions. The man was also charged
with felony hit and run. The difference between regular hit and run and
felony hit and run is that with the felony offense, serious injury or
According to the California Vehicle Code 2001
(a) The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury
to a person, other than himself or herself, or in the death of a person
shall immediately stop the vehicle at the scene of the accident and shall
fulfill the requirements of Sections 20003 and 20004. (2) If the accident
described in subdivision (a) results in death or permanent, serious injury,
a person who violates subdivision (a) shall be punished by imprisonment
in the state prison for two, three, or four years, or in a county jail
for not less than 90 days nor more than one year, or by a fine of not
less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) nor more than ten thousand dollars
($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine. However, the court,
in the interests of justice and for reasons stated in the record, may
reduce or eliminate the minimum imprisonment required by this paragraph.
If you were arrested for hit and run or a related traffic offense, please
do not hesitate to
contact Orange County Criminal Attorney Barney B. Gibbs to discuss your case.