|For Immediate Release
Case # 05ZF0121
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRIVER SENTENCED FOR MURDERING TWO
PEOPLE IN HIGH SPEED CRASH WHILE UNDER
THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND DRUGS
SANTA ANA – A driver under the influence of marijuana and alcohol was sentenced today to 15 years to life in prison for killing two people in a high speed crash in Mission Viejo. Jon David Tafoya, 28, Downey, was convicted January 24, 2008 of two counts of murder.
On April 5, 2005, Tafoya tried to evade Orange County Sheriff’s deputies as they attempted to pull him over as he was leaving Tortilla Flat’s at Lake Mission Viejo for suspected drinking and driving. Tafoya began speeding away in his 2005 Chevy Silverado truck and turned from Marguerite Parkway onto Jeronimo Road heading west. He was driving 90 miles per hour on the wrong side of the road up a hill as Sheriff’s deputies followed on the correct side of the street. As he sped over the hill, Tafoya saw an oncoming car and crashed head-on into a two door Saturn. The Saturn driver, Eusebio Flores, 40, Lake Forest, and the passenger, Melody Woodridge, 22, Redlands, were both killed. Tafoya had a blood alcohol level of .11 percent and marijuana in his system.
“Four years prior to these murders, Tafoya was warned and educated though alcohol awareness classes about the specific dangers of driving while intoxicated. When he got behind the wheel of his car loaded up on drugs and alcohol, ran from police and sped on the wrong side of the road, he knew his actions could be deadly,” said Senior Deputy District Attorney Howard Gundy of the Homicide Unit, who prosecuted this case. “His reckless disregard for the safety of others directly resulted in the loss of two lives.”