|For Immediate Release
Case # 09NF0232
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRUNKEN DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING TWO PASSENGERS AND INJURING A THIRD IN FREEWAY CRASH WHERE CAR BURST INTO FLAMES
FULLERTON – A drunken driver was convicted today of killing two passengers and injuring another after he crashed into a tree and leaving the scene when his car burst into flames. Osvaldo Orozco, 30, Carson, was found guilty by a jury of one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with negligence and the sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury were found true. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison at his sentencing on Nov. 12, 2010, at 8:30 a.m. in Department N-10, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
At approximately 4:40 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2009, Orozco drove under the influence of alcohol at an unsafe speed southbound on California State Route 57. The defendant’s three passengers in the car included front passenger Luis Mendez, 27, and rear passengers Andrew Martinez, 25, and Jesus Colin, 23. The defendant drove the group from a party at Martinez’s house toward the City of Orange.
Orozco’s 1972 Chevrolet veered off the side of the freeway and crashed into a tree. The car burst into flames. Orozco climbed over a chain-link fence with Mendez, walked over 500 feet, and hid behind a pile of rocks. The defendant’s other two passengers were still in the back seat of the car. Orozco made 11 cell phone calls before finally calling 911. By the time the defendant called 911, officers had already arrived at the scene.
Victims Martinez and Colin were trapped in the car and both died at the scene due to multiple traumatic and thermal injuries. Victim Mendez suffered a broken arm and fractured vertebrae and ribs. Orozco received a fractured vertebrae and second-degree burns to his chest, arm and face.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.