DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING MOTORIST IN WRONG-WAY, HIGH-SPEED CRASH IN RENTED U-HAUL

Case # 12NF0792

Date: August 24, 2018

DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO 15 YEARS TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR MURDERING MOTORIST IN WRONG-WAY, HIGH-SPEED CRASH IN RENTED U-HAUL TRUCK

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A man was sentenced today to 15 years to life in state prison for murdering a motorist in a head-on crash while speeding on the wrong side of the road in a rented U-Haul truck.

Defendant

Charges

Sentence

Dustin David Lish, 26, La Habra

Found guilty by a jury on Oct. 30, 2017 of:

  • One felony count of second degree murder

15 years to life in state prison

Circumstances of the Case

  • On Nov. 19, 2011, Lish consumed alcohol with friends at his home in La Habra.
  • The defendant left his home with a friend and was driven by his sister to a U-Haul facility on Lambert Road in La Habra where he worked.
  • Lish rented a U-Haul truck with his friend. The facility manager rented the truck to the two men, but refused to let Lish drive because he was visibly intoxicated.
  • Lish got into the passenger seat of the truck and his friend got into the driver’s seat and drove away.
  • After driving away from the U-Haul facility, Lish’s friend pulled over and the defendant switched into the driver’s seat.
  • At approximately 5:40 p.m., the defendant drove erratically at a high rate of speed in the U-Haul truck.
  • The defendant veered into oncoming traffic on the wrong side of the road and side-swept a Nissan sport utility vehicle (SUV) after the driver of that vehicle swerved to avoid a head-on collision.
  • After side-swiping the SUV, Lish continued at a high rate of speed into oncoming traffic and crashed head-on into a Hyundai accent driven by 20-year-old Joseph Quezada.
  • The defendant crashed into the victim with such great force that Quezada’s car was pushed backward into the car behind him.
  • Lish and his friend got out of the U-Haul and fled the scene on foot.
  • Quezada was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
  • The La Habra Police Department, who investigated this case, responded to the scene and located the defendant, who was hiding in a vehicle storage area approximately 200 feet from the crash site.
  • Lish had a blood alcohol level of .16 percent three hours after the crash.
  • Black box data from the U-Haul revealed the defendant was flooring the gas pedal of the truck repeatedly and intentionally prior to the crash.

Prosecutor: Senior Deputy District Attorney Daniel Feldman, Homicide Unit