The difference between vehicular manslaughter and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is small, legally speaking, but it could be the difference in facing a felony or a misdemeanor charge. Regular vehicular manslaughter generally means that the suspect didn’t mean to harm anyone. However, in gross vehicular manslaughter, the charge implies that while a person didn’t mean to kill anyone, they should have known that their actions could have harmed someone. Aside from DUI murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is the most serious DUI charge a person can face.
The East Bay Times reports on a man facing gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges in an accident that killed a man in Concord.
46-year-old Willie David Hamlin is facing felony DUI charges and charges of gross vehicular manslaughter stemming from a Sunday accident on Highway 4 just before 9:30 p.m. on eastbound Highway 4 near the Willow Pass Road exit.
The CHP says that Hamlin was speeding as he approached the exit when he veered to the right and crashed into a guardrail. The vehicle then veered back into traffic where he collided with a Nissan sedan, and then a Mitsubishi Lancer being driven by 19-year-old Giovanni Vasquez, of Antioch.
Vasquez died at the scene. Hamlin suffered major injuries in the accident and was hospitalized. The driver of the Nissan walked away from the accident without any injuries.
Hamlin is expected to be facing felony DUI charges and charges of gross vehicular manslaughter.