|For Immediate Release
April 3, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO 16 YEARS FOR KILLING MAN IN 97 MPH CRASH
SANTA ANA – A driver under the influence of alcohol was sentenced today to 16 years in state prison for killing another driver by crashing into his car at 97 mph. Oscar Omar Guerca, 30, Santa Ana, pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated, one felony count of hit and run with injury, one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, and a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter. Guerca has a prison prior for a 2007 conviction for receiving stolen property.
At approximately 1:20 a.m. on Dec. 20, 2008, Guerca was driving a Chevrolet sport utility vehicle at approximately 100 mph northbound on State Route 55 while under the influence of alcohol. Caltrans had posted signs on the freeway indicating that construction work was underway and instructing drivers to slow down. Victim Marco Aguilar, 33, was driving in his Toyota sedan and slowed to approximately 10 to 20 mph, along with other drivers on the road, in observance of the Caltrans warning. Guerca, who did not hit his brakes or slow his speed, crashed into the back of Aguilar’s car at 97 mph. The impact of the crash caused both cars to cross several lanes and come to a stop on the right shoulder.
Aguilar was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was on his way home to his wife from his second job, cleaning office buildings. The impact caused the victim’s car to be completely mangled.
After crashing into Aguilar, Guerca got out of his car and attempted to run away on foot. A witness, who worked for the construction company set to do Caltrans work on the freeway, saw the crash and followed Guerca in his car. The defendant attempted to run down a freeway on-ramp. An Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputy, who happened to be passing in a patrol car, saw the witness driving the wrong way onto the on-ramp with his hazard lights on yelling at Guerca to stop. The deputy detained the defendant after learning from the witness that Guerca had just fled from the scene of a deadly crash.
Two hours after the crash, Guerca had a blood alcohol level of .13 percent.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.