Killing someone while driving while intoxicated in California is normally charged as vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated or gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. However, if a person has a previous DUI on their record and attended DUI school or was specifically warned that a future DUI that claims a life could result in murder charges, they may be charged with a second-degree murder charge called “Watson murder.” Watson murder can carry with it a sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. If more than one person is killed, a person may face additional Watson murder charges.
The Visalia Times-Delta reports on a woman facing multiple counts of murder among other charges in a Tulare County accident.
The California Highway Patrol believes that 23-year-old Brenda Garcia was driving under the influence when she drove the wrong way on Highway 99 in Visalia.
Visalia area police and California Highway Patrol both responded to the 911 calls reporting a head-on collision in the southbound lanes of Highway 99 near Court Avenue.
Garcia was driving north in the southbound lanes when she plowed into a 67-year-old Northridge woman head-on. The woman, who was driving a 2018 Nissan, and her front seat passenger died on impact.
A third victim, who was in the back seat, was taken to Delano Regional Medical Center where she later died from her injuries.
Garcia suffered major injuries in the accident as well. She was taken to Kaweah Delta Medical Center. Blood tests revealed that Garcia was allegedly intoxicated at the time.
Once Garcia is cleared, she will be taken to the Tulare Pretrial Facility where she will be facing a possibility of life in prison.