In California, anyone with a previous conviction of DUI is warned of the seriousness of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They are advised that if they get into another DUI crash and someone is killed, they could face the charge of murder.
KTLA reports that is the case for 36-year-old Adriana Bernal, who is facing both murder and hit-and-run charges after a crash that took the life of a bicyclist in Newport Beach over the weekend.
According to a statement issued by the Newport Beach Police Department, the fatal crash happened on Sunday, September 11, at approximately 8:30 a.m. on Jamboree Road, just south of University Drive. Eyewitnesses to the incident said that Bernal struck the bicyclist and then fled the scene of the crash without attempting to help him.
Good Samaritans at the scene attempted to assist the bicyclist but, despite all life-saving efforts, succumbed to his injuries. Paramedics with the Newport Beach Fire Department declared the man dead at the scene.
Police were able to locate Bernal a short time later in the East Bluff neighborhood. She was taken into custody without incident.
Investigators determined that Bernal was under the influence of an unidentified drug at the time of the fatal crash. Because Bernal had an earlier DUI conviction on her record and fled the scene of a fatal crash, she is being charged with murder and hit-and-run. A judge set Bernal’s bail at $1.082 million.
Bernal is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, September 13.
The Newport Beach Police Department is encouraging anyone with any information about the crash to contact Investigating Officer M. Keyworth at (949) 644-3746.