Costa Mesa Crash Leads To Fatal Hit-And-Run Charges

California, like many other states, have enhancement charges that can be added to a DUI charge, which will result in stiffer penalties if convicted. Perhaps one of the most familiar enhancements concerns previous DUI charges. However, there is a long list of possible enhancements that can be added to a DUI charge, such as reckless driving, excessive blood-alcohol levels, injuries, child endangerment, and refusal to submit to chemical testing. In a case where the intoxicated driver leaves the scene of an accident, a hit-and-run charge may be added to the DUI charge as well. Prosecutors and judges take hit-and-run DUI charges very seriously.

The LA Times reports on a man facing both hit-and-run and DUI charges for an accident that claimed the life of a man.

The accident, which occurred on Tuesday, December 4th, happened on the 55 Freeway in Costa Mesa.

49-year-old Bernardo Alvarez Zalpa was driving a Honda Accord southbound in the fast lane when he veered into the general traffic lanes. Just after 6 p.m., Zalpa struck a Mini Cooper and continued driving.

Zalpa continued veering to the right, where he collided with another vehicle, this time a Toyota 4-Runner. This collision occurred on the Del Mar Avenue offramp. The 4-Runner was overturned during the crash and the driver was ejected. The driver of the 4-Runner was not wearing a seatbelt.

48-year-old Jose Olquin, the driver of the 4-Runner was pronounced dead at the scene.

Costa Mesa police detained and arrested Zalpa, charging him with driving under the influence and hit-and-run. He was booked into the Orange County jail with a bond set at $100,000.


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