The accident that killed two UCSD students and seriously injured three others has finally been brought to trial. A former United States Marine is facing charges of murder in the trial, though his attorney is arguing for the lesser conviction of vehicular manslaughter. In California, a DUI can be charged as a murder if you’ve had previous DUI convictions. The San Diego Tribune reports on the trial.
The crash took place on May 16, 2015. Former Marine from Miramar Jason Riley King drove the wrong way, heading southbound in the northbound lanes of the freeway. This is when he crashed into a Toyota Prius carrying five students from UCSD celebrating the end of their second year of medical school.
23-year-old Madison Cornwell and 24-year-old Anne Li Baldock were both killed instantly. Stosh Ozog’s spine was fractured in three places, he suffered from two broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and other injuries. Jared Molitoris suffered a fractured sternum and learning disabilities which included memory loss. Yuki Iizuka suffered brain trauma, which caused memory loss, a broken femur, as well as eye and hand injuries that required multiple surgeries.
90 minutes following the accident, King’s blood-alcohol content was .14, nearly twice the legal limit. The prosecution is seeking two counts of murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, and DUI causing great bodily injury.
King’s defense attorney argues that King has never attended DUI programs that California requires after a conviction in California. This was King’s first DUI, so he never signed an acknowledgment that if he killed someone in a DUI crash he could be charged with murder.
The prosecution argued that both a friend of King’s and the bar manager cautioned him that he was too drunk to drive.
This is the accident that prompted Governor Jerry Brown to sign a law requiring bartenders and servers to get training on recognizing when a customer is too drunk and should no longer be served.
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