|For Immediate Release
Case # 09NF1375
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
DRUNKEN TEEN DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING TWO FRIENDS AFTER CRASHING INTO TREE AND EJECTING VICTIMS ONTO STREET
SANTA ANA – A teen driver under the influence of alcohol was convicted today of killing two friends after losing control of his car and crashing into a tree, ejecting the victims onto the street. Jared Nobel Berggren, 20, Fullerton, pleaded guilty to the court to two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury. He faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in state prison at his sentencing on Aug. 20, 2010, in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 2:30 a.m. on May 11, 2009, Berggren was driving at a high rate of speed in a residential area in Fullerton while under the influence of alcohol. Victim Jacquelyn Ardalan, 19, was riding in the front passenger seat and victim Miles Andrew Christensen, 19, was riding in the rear right seat of Berggren’s truck. Berggren lost control of his vehicle and crashed into a large eucalyptus tree. Victims Ardalan and Christensen were ejected from the truck and landed nearby on the ground. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.
Berggren was transported to the hospital and treated for a non-life-threatening skull fracture. At the time of the crash he had a blood alcohol level of .10 percent.
Family members of both victims were present for the plea today and made victim impact statements to the court. Ardalan’s mother, Alice Ardalan, told the court that her daughter’s death was preventable and that her life has been destroyed and forever changed by the loss of Jacquelyn.
Christensen’s father, Eric Christensen, explained that he had a strong, loving relationship with his son, but “overlying this is the solitude of judgment I feel as a parent. I find little satisfaction in anything I may have done right as a parent and find there is no emotional balm that can sooth the pain of my failures as a father. I know that things we tend to work out with time with our adult children will never be granted to me. I now live with the feeling that there is no redemption in this mortal life for the failures I had in raising my son.”
Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.