DRIVER UNDER INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE FOR KILLING ONE AND INJURING FOUR OTHERS IN CRASH

Orange County District Attorney
Press Release


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

For Immediate Release
Case # 07NF3961
 


 


November 19, 2010

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 UNDER INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS
TO LIFE FOR KILLING ONE AND INJURING
FOUR OTHERS IN CRASH

 

SANTA ANA – A driver under the influence of marijuana and prescription drugs was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for killing one woman and injuring four others by causing a 5-vehicle crash after speeding on the shoulder of the freeway. Isaac Robert Longo, 33, Placentia, pleaded guilty July 28, 2010, to one felony count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with prior convictions for driving under the influence (DUI) in 1998 and 2000. He admitted to the sentencing enhancements and allegations for causing great bodily injury and causing bodily injury to multiple victims.

 

At approximately 5:00 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2007, Longo entered the northbound California State Route 55 at Chapman Avenue at 80 to 90 mph in his Ford truck. He continued driving on the freeway as the California State Route 55 became California State Route 91. The defendant was driving under the influence of marijuana and prescription medications Clonazepam and Gabapentin.

 

Longo crossed all lanes of traffic into the carpool lane and weaved in and out of the carpool lane before swerving back across traffic to the far right shoulder at a high rate of speed. As freeway traffic slowed to a full stop, the defendant drove onto the right shoulder to pass traffic at 70 to 100 mph.

 

While speeding on the shoulder of the freeway, the defendant lost control of his truck, fishtailed, and crashed into a Honda sedan that was stopped in the far right lane. The force of the impact pushed the Honda into the vehicles ahead of it, causing a 5-vehicle crash. Several motorists called 911 to report the crash.

 

Longo’s truck came to a stop in the far right lane. Responding officers observed objective signs of intoxication including red and watery eyes, slurred speech, and a lack of balance. Longo was transported to the hospital to be treated for minor lacerations and pain in his back, neck, head and shoulders. Approximately two hours after the crash, Longo tested positive for marijuana and prescription drugs.  

 

As of result of the high-speed crash, Longo killed 82-year-old Cecelia Lopez, who was a passenger in the Honda. Lopez died at the scene due to blunt force trauma. Lopez’s 63-year-old daughter, Katherine Griff, was driving the Honda and suffered a brain bleed, broken left leg, bruised and punctured lung, and cracked ribs.

 

Three other victims in two other cars were injured as a result of the crash caused by Longo. Kathleen Collens, 53, suffered head and face lacerations and her daughter, Kimberly Collens, 20, suffered pain to her back, head and neck. April Levin, 33, also suffered pain to her back, head, and neck.