|For Immediate Release
Case # 09NF0232
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRUNKEN DRIVER FACES TRIAL FOR KILLING TWO PASSENGERS AND INJURING A THIRD IN FREEWAY CRASH WHERE CAR BURST INTO FLAMES
FULLERTON – A drunken driver faces jury trial Monday for 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, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with negligence and sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury and failing to remain at the scene of a vehicular manslaughter. He faces a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison if convicted. Opening statements are expected to begin Monday, Aug. 30, 2010, in Department N-10, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
At approximately 4:40 a.m. on Jan. 11, 2009, Orozco is accused of driving 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 is accused of driving the group from a party at Martinez’s house toward the City of Orange.
Orozco is accused of veering his 1972 Chevrolet off the side of the freeway and crashing into a tree. The car burst into flames. Orozco is accused of climbing over a chain-link fence with Mendez, walking over 500 feet, and hiding behind a pile of rocks. The defendant’s other two passengers were still in the back seat of the car. Orozco is accused of making 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 Martinez 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.