Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
February 14, 2012
Susan Kang Schroeder
DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING TWO FRIENDS BY CRASHING INTO LIGHT POLE
AFTER LOSING CONTROL OF VEHICLE
SANTA ANA – A drunken driver has been charged with killing two friends by crashing into a light pole after losing control of his vehicle. Ryan Manuel Hernandez, 22, Anaheim, is charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence with sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury and a prior strike conviction for robbery in 2007. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison. The People will be requesting Ryan Hernandez be held on $250,000 bail at his arraignment this afternoon, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Feb. 10, 2012, Ryan Hernandez is accused of driving under the influence of alcohol after a night of drinking at a bar in Fullerton to celebrate friend Jose Zuniga’s 24th birthday. He is accused of driving while impaired on La Mirada Boulevard in Buena Park with Jose Zuniga in the front passenger seat and 22-year-olds Everado Zuniga and Jose Hernandez is the back seat.
Ryan Hernandez is accused of hitting a raised median while attempting to change lanes, losing control of his vehicle, and crashing into a light pole. Everado Zuniga and Jose Hernandez were trapped in the back seat of the car and pronounced dead at the scene. Jose Zuniga refused medical attention.
When contacted at the scene by officers from the Buena Park Police Department (BPPD), Ryan Hernandez is accused of displaying objective signs of alcohol intoxication including bloodshot and watery eyes and emitting a strong odor of alcohol. The defendant was transported to the hospital to be treated for a sprained arm and was released to the custody of BPPD.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Alison Gyves of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.