Criminal Defense in Orange County

Arrested: OC Hit-and-Run Suspect

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 death resulted.

According to the California Vehicle Code 2001 Felony DUI,

(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.