Westminster Man Accused of DUI in Fatal Crash Arraigned for Murder: DA
A Westminster man accused of driving drunk when he crashed into a woman’s vehicle was arraigned for murder, authorities announced on Tuesday.
Prosecutors charged 24-year-old Jonathan Truong St. Thomas with murder for the death of Melanie Barlow, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Barlow, 25, died after St. Thomas crashed into her vehicle in Fountain Valley at around 11:35 p.m. on Oct. 13, 2017, the District Attorney’s Office stated in a news release.
Officials said St. Thomas had a blood alcohol content of .15 percent, above the .08 percent legal limit, while driving more than 110 miles per hour southbound on Magnolia Street near Mint Avenue.
St. Thomas, who was driving a Lexus, jumped the median when he hit the victim’s Toyota sedan, authorities said following the incident.
Emergency medical responders arrived at the scene after bystanders called 911 and took St. Thomas and Barlow to nearby hospitals, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Barlow was pronounced dead soon after the collision.
As investigators assessed the scene at around 5:16 a.m., another Westminster man in a Dodge pickup truck “drove at officers,” turned around and drove at them again, according to the Fountain Valley Police Department.
Authorities opened fire before the driver, Matthew Snoyman, fled, but they were later able to arrest him, the agency said.
He was taken to the hospital with injuries that were not life threatening, the Police Department added.
Snoyman was charged with assault and DUI in May, and he remained in custody while waiting for his court appearance on Wednesday, according to Orange County Sheriff’s Department records.
St. Thomas, who was also scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday for a pre-trial hearing, faced 15 years to life in state prison, the District Attorney’s Office said.