In California, vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is known as a wobbler. This means that it can be charged either as a felony or a misdemeanor. If convicted of the misdemeanor, the penalties include up to one year in county jail. A felony comes with anywhere from 16 months to 4 years in prison. Thankfully, there are some defenses to vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. One, of course, is that the suspect was not intoxicated at the time of the accident. Another defense is that the accused was not acting with negligence or that their negligence did not lead to the person’s death.
The Mercury News reports on a Knights Landing crash that killed a family while asleep in their trailer home.
The crash occurred at about 9:50 p.m. off Highway 113, which is located in Sutter County, just north of Knights Landing.
33-year-old Ismael Huazo-Jardinez was behind the wheel of a 2008 Chevrolet Avalanche when he failed to negotiate a curve on the rural two-lane highway. He crashed into the trailer where the family was sleeping.
Residents of the area stated that Huazo-Jardinez attempted to flee from the scene, but neighbors were able to detain him. He may have been beaten by the neighbors before police arrived.
Three victims were pronounced dead at the scene: a 38-year-old male, a 34-year-old female, and a 10-year-old boy. An 11-year-old girl survived and was taken by helicopter to UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
Huazo-Jardinez was arrested at the scene and taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries. He was then taken to the Sutter County Jail where he was booked on charges of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter.