Murder is one of the rarest DUI charges that an intoxicated driver can be charged with by a prosecutor. It usually requires a specific set of circumstances to be met before the driver can be charged. The first, of course, is that an intoxicated driver was in an accident that caused the death of another person. The second circumstance is that the driver has been convicted of a DUI in the previous ten years. A charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated is typically charged in many California DUI cases involving the death of another person. However, prosecutors will often charge a driver with both charges, allowing room for bargaining in a plea agreement.
NBC Los Angeles reports that the surviving family members have sued the alleged intoxicated driver and Chrysler Fiat following a deadly fiery crash.
The crash occurred on April 28th at about 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of South Hoover and West 76th Streets.
32-year-old Jose Manuel Garcia was driving when he allegedly ran a traffic light, plowing into a 1994 Dodge Caravan. The Dodge then caught fire, killing 34-year-old Juan Reynoso, 6-year-old Emma, and 5-month-old Sebastian.
Garcia is facing charges of three felony counts of murder, three felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, a felony count of DUI within 10 years of another DUI offense, and driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% causing injury within 10 years of a previous DUI offense. He has pleaded guilty to all charges.
The surviving family members, Elizabeth Flores and an 11-year-old son have filed a lawsuit against Chrysler alleging that a defect caused the van to catch fire. They have also sued Garcia in connection with the accident.