|For Immediate Release
May 12, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING PASSENGER BY CRASHING INTO TREE AND ELECTRICAL POLE AFTER SPEEDING OVER 100 MPH
FULLERTON – A drunken driver will be arraigned tomorrow for killing his passenger by crashing into a tree and electrical pole after driving at speeds over 100 mph. James Ralph Huff, 46, Buena Park, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison if convicted. He is being held on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, May 13, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-12, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
At approximately 4:20 a.m. on March 29, 2009, Huff is accused of driving while intoxicated at speeds over 100 mph in a 1996 Porsche. He is accused of having a blood alcohol level over the legal limit of .08 percent while driving. Huff’s friend, 28-year-old Miguel Barahona, was riding in the passenger seat. The defendant is accused of losing control of his vehicle on Valley View Street in Buena Park and colliding with the curb. He is accused of crashing into a tree, causing it to uproot, and then hitting an electrical pole.
The defendant’s vehicle caught on fire and bystanders called 911 and attempted to put out the fire with extinguishers. Witnesses were able to remove Huff from the burning vehicle. The defendant was transported to the hospital to be treated for internal injuries and third degree burns.
As a result of the crash, Huff is accused of killing Barahona, who was still in the passenger seat of the burning vehicle when paramedics arrived. Barahona died at the scene due to multiple traumatic and thermal injuries.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.