A 21-year-old man is facing criminal charges including vehicular manslaughter after allegedly killing a 70-year-old man in a suspected DUI crash in Stanton, prosecutors said Friday.
Christian Alejandro Vasquez is accused of driving the wrong way down Beach Boulevard without his headlights on before crashing head-on into another vehicle on Aug. 16, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The other driver was rushed to a nearby hospital but died from his wounds, prosecutors said.
Vasquez, a resident of Michigan, faces one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving under the influence with a BAC of .08% or more causing injury and one misdemeanor count of driving without a valid driver’s license.
Prosecutors said the charges include a felony sentencing enhancement for allegedly inflicting great bodily injury. If convicted of all counts, Vasquez could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.
“Over the last month the Orange County District Attorney’s Office has filed numerous cases involving fatal DUI crashes,” the DA’s office said in a news release.
Prosecutors did not provide any data or other information on DUI crashes, making it unclear whether there has been a recent increase. But the DA’s office described the collisions as part of a “disturbing trend.”
DA Todd Spitzer plans to meet next week with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), the state’s Office of Traffic Safety and local law enforcement officials to address the incidents.