|For Immediate Release
Case # 08NF1466
April 13, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRIVER UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL CONVICTED OF KILLING 71-YEAR-OLD WOMAN IN BROADSIDE CRASH AFTER RUNNING RED LIGHT
FULLERTON – A driver who repeatedly drove under the influence of alcohol was convicted today of killing a 71-year-old woman and seriously injuring her 76-year-old friend after running through a red light and crashing into their car. Miguel Angel Gallardo, 46, Anaheim, pleaded guilty to the court to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated, one felony count of driving under the influence causing great bodily injury, one felony count of driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol, one misdemeanor count of driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent or more, and sentencing enhancement allegations for causing great bodily injury, injuring more than one victim and having a blood alcohol level of .15 percent. Gallardo faces a maximum sentence of 12 years and eight months in state prison at his sentencing tomorrow, Tuesday, April 14, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-10, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
At approximately 1:10 a.m. on April 18, 2008, Gallardo was swerving in his car as he drove northbound on the Interstate 5 (I-5) after consuming alcoholic drinks at a bar in Santa Ana. He was pulled over in Anaheim on at Ball Road by the California Highway Patrol and was arrested with a blood alcohol level of .14 percent. He was released the following day with an order to appear in court in May 2008.
On April 28, 2008, while awaiting his May court date, Gallardo consumed alcoholic drinks at a friend’s house in Santa Ana and attempted to drive home in his GMC Yukon.
At approximately 9:50 p.m., Gallardo ran through a red light at a high rate of speed at the intersection of 9th Street and Orangewood Avenue in Anaheim. A Honda sedan, driven by 71-year-old Maria Lewis, was passing through the intersection legally on a green light with 76-year-old Teresa Reeger in the passenger seat. The victims were on their way home from work at Angel Stadium. Gallardo crashed his car into the driver side door of Lewis’ car as he raced through the red light, sending the victim’s car spinning. The victim’s car slammed into a block wall as a result of the impact. Gallardo’s car also spun and crashed backward into a wall. Reeger suffered severe injuries including a fractured skull. Lewis was killed.
Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.