DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING FRIEND AFTER CRASHING INTO TREE AFTER SPEEDING AT OVER 55 MPH


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 10SF0616






February 9, 2012

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING FRIEND

 AFTER CRASHING INTO TREE AFTER

SPEEDING AT OVER 55 MPH

*Two other passengers were injured in the crash

 

FULLERTON – A speeding driver was convicted yesterday of killing one friend after slicing his car in half by crashing into a tree. Andrew Stueber, 26, was found guilty by a jury Feb. 8, 2012, of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. He faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison. A sentencing date will be set on May 18, 2012, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-13, North Justice Center, Fullerton.

 

At approximately 2:10 a.m. on Aug. 1, 2009, Stueber was driving in a Ford Mustang after a night of drinking with friends at Goodys Tavern in San Clemente. He was the designated driver. He was speeding on Avenida Vista Montana at over 55 mph in a 35 mph zone with friends Edmund Vandecasteele, 22, Robert Nichols, 22, and Kyle Nance, 21, as passengers in the car.

 

Stueber lost control of his car while driving at a high rate of speed and crossed over onto the wrong side of the road. He then crashed into a tree, severing his car in half.

 

Stueber was transported to the hospital to be treated for head trauma. Approximately two hours after the crash, he had a blood alcohol level of .09 percent.

 

Vandecasteele, who had been riding in the front passenger seat, was pronounced dead at the scene due to multiple traumatic injuries. Nichols and Nance, who had been riding in the back seat, were transported to the hospital to be treated for cuts and bruises.

 

At the time of the crash, the defendant and the victims were all Marines stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.

 

Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.

 

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