Gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is one of the most serious DUI charges a person can face in California. It is the charge that is just below the second-degree murder charge of DUI murder. The charge is always a felony and a conviction and has life-altering repercussions.
A prosecutor must prove a few things beyond a reasonable doubt in order for a person to be convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. The first thing, of course, is that the driver was intoxicated. The second thing is that the driver was violating one of California’s traffic laws or was otherwise acting lawfully, but in a manner that disregarded the safety of others. Finally, as a result of these actions, someone was killed.
KGET reports that a man has been killed in Bakersfield in a DUI crash that occurred on the 4th of July.
The crash occurred on Rancheria Road at about 9:51 p.m. on Saturday, July 4th.
According to the California Highway Patrol, 31-year-old Eli Valdovinos, Jr. was heading south in a Chevy Silverado pickup truck. He lost control of the vehicle, which veered off-road, hitting a dirt berm. The truck overturned and both men were partially or fully ejected. Neither was wearing a seatbelt.
Valdovinos’ passenger, identified as 54-year-old Michael Dempsey Eyler, died after being transported to Kern Medical.
Valdovinos suffered from moderate injuries in the crash. He was subsequently arrested on suspicion of DUI. This story is still developing, and more information may be provided at a later date.