|For Immediate Release
Case # 14HF1151
April 8, 2014
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRIVER UNDER INFLUENCE OF DRUGS TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING WOMAN WALKING DOG ON 4TH OF JULY IN CRASH AND GREATLY INJURING HER HUSBAND
*Defendant also faces DUI and drug related charges from a previous arrest months before the crash
SANTA ANA – A driver under the influence of drugs is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for killing a woman on the 4th of July by crashing into her as she was walking her dog and greatly injuring her husband. Christopher James Gallo, 44, San Clemente, is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, possession of marijuana for sale, sale or transportation of marijuana, and one misdemeanor count each of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more, and two misdemeanor counts of driving on a suspended or revoked license. He faces sentencing enhancement allegations for inflicting great bodily injury and great bodily injury to multiple victims. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 14 years in state prison for the felony charges and one year and six months in jail for the misdemeanor charges. He is being held on $150,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, April 9, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. in Department, CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
At approximately 6:00 p.m. on April 15, 2013, Gallo is accused of stopping a Lincoln sedan on the shoulder of the Interstate 5 near Camino de Estrella in San Clemente. A California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer noticed the defendant’s vehicle and stopped to contact the defendant. Gallo is accused of displaying objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication. The defendant is accused of having a blood alcohol content of .08 percent and possessing more than 300 grams of marijuana with evidence indicating he was planning to sell it. CHP arrested Gallo and began investigating this case.
At approximately 9:00 a.m. on July 4, 2013, Gallo is accused of driving under the influence of drugs in a Cadillac sedan traveling southbound on Golden Lantern Street approaching Beacon Hill Way in Laguna Niguel. Gallo is accused of suddenly driving onto the sidewalk and hitting 58-year-old Luzanna Malec and 62-year-old Thomas M., who were both walking their dogs. Malec was pronounced dead at the scene due to blunt force head injuries and Thomas M. was hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury and rib fractures.
Gallo is accused of displaying objective signs of being under the influence of a controlled substance at the time of the crash.
CHP and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case.
Deputy District Attorney Anna McIntire of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.