Elderly Man Dies In I-5 Accident

Fox 5 San Diego reports on a man who died after a crash with a suspected drunk driver.

The crash happened at about 1:15 a.m. on Friday on Interstate 5 near San Elijo.

A 2008 Nissan Frontier driven by 42-year-old Dan Bednarczyk of Oceanside veered off of the north side of the freeway. He plowed into a 2018 Hyundai Elantra parked on the right-side shoulder.

The driver of the Hyundai, a 72-year-old man from Florida, received mortal injuries in the accident. He was rushed to Scripps Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His name has not been released pending notification of next of kin.

Police arrested Bednarczyk was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence. He was taken to the hospital to be treated for broken ribs and other non-life-threatening injuries.

In California, DUI manslaughter can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Under California Penal Code 191.5(a), which is DUI manslaughter with “gross negligence” is always a felony.

However, California Penal Code 191.5(b) is DUI manslaughter with ordinary negligence, which may be charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor, according to the prosecutor’s choice. The difference is small on paper, but the impact on a person’s life can be huge. The misdemeanor version may mean a year in jail and a fine of $1,000. The felony version gives a person felony status, 2+ years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.

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