Man On Trial on Two Counts of Second Degree Murder in 2020 Fatal DUI Crash

KFI AM Radio reports that 29-year-old Jose Guadalupe Salasmaria, previously convicted on previous DUI charges, is now on trial for a 2020 crash that took two people’s lives and left another seriously injured.

Court documents indicate that on May 23, 2020, at approximately 8:20 p.m., Salasmaria was driving a 2013 Mazda eastbound on La Palma Avenue along with two other men when he blew through a red traffic light and collided with a 2016 Nissan Versa at the intersection of LaPalma and Olive Street.

Investigators estimate that Salasmaria was going approximately 68 miles per hour in a 35-mile-an-hour zone when the collision occurred.

Deputy District Attorney Brian Orue said that Salasmaria had a beer during a lunch break while at work. After work, the defendant continued to consume tall cans of Budweiser in the parking lot with co-workers and smoked marijuana with others who were passing around a pipe. 

The three men drove around Anaheim “until disaster struck,” Orue said. 

The two male passengers, aged 24 and 30, died at the crash scene.

Officers from the Anaheim Police Department found four empty beer cans in Salasmaria’s vehicle and two unopened beers. Police investigators also discovered that the lights on Salasmaria’s lights were off at the time of the collision. 

Blood drawn from Salasmaria one hour after the fatal crash found that he had a blood alcohol level of approximately .30. Later, a blood draw taken at approximately 11:08 p.m. indicated that Salasmaria’s BAC was between .254 and .257 – three times the legal limit of .08 percent.

Salasmaria is facing the charges of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving under the influence of marijuana, causing great bodily injury or death, and sentence enhancements for causing great bodily injury for an accident victim who survived the crash.

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