Case # 15WF0859
Date: September 18, 2015
DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED TO SIX YEARS AND FOUR MONTHS IN PRISON FOR KILLING MAN IN HIT-AND-RUN CRASH
SANTA ANA, Calif. – A drunken driver was sentenced today to six years and four months in state prison for killing a man in a hit-and-run crash. Tonez Hunter Seja, 24, Buena Park, pleaded guilty on July 2, 2015, to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, one felony count of hit-and-run with permanent injury or death, and a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of the crime.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on April 24, 2015, Seja was driving northbound on Beach Boulevard in Westminster while under the influence of alcohol. The defendant hit 58-year-old Gerrel Bauer who had wandered onto the roadway. Seja continued to drive northbound without stopping or rendering aid or assistance to the victim.
A witness contacted the Westminster Police Department (WPD) after seeing the victim lying in the roadway. WPD arrived at the scene and found the victim in the street unconscious.
WPD officers pulled over the defendant at a red light on Beach Boulevard and Westminster Boulevard, approximately one mile away from the crash site. The defendant’s vehicle had a shattered windshield and missing passenger-side mirror which matched the mirror found on the road at the site of the crash. The defendant displayed objective signs of alcohol intoxication including emitting a strong odor of alcohol, slurred speech, and bloodshot eyes. The defendant’s blood alcohol level was .15 percent approximately one hour after the crash.
The victim was transported by paramedics to the hospital. The defendant died on June 4, 2015, as a result of the injuries he sustained in the crash.
Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.