|For Immediate Release
Case # 10NM16383 July 19, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
SPEEDING DRIVER SENTENCED FOR KILLING MAN AFTER LOSING CONTROL OF VEHICLE AND CRASHING INTO VICTIM’S DISABLED CAR
FULLERTON – A speeding driver was sentenced today for killing a man after losing control of his vehicle and crashing into a disabled car as the victim was changing a flat tire. Pedro Resendiz, 29, Fullerton, pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and was sentenced to 300 hours of community service, three years of informal probation, and was ordered to pay a $1,000 donation to the Victim Witness Emergency Fund.
At approximately 2:50 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2010, Resendiz was speeding at approximately 55 mph in a 45 mph zone in a Ford Expedition and lost control on the transition curve from State Route 91 (SR 91) to State Route 57 (SR 57). He veered off the transition road from SR 91 across a planter dividing the two freeways and struck a wooden post.
Resendiz then continued to cross the freeway in his vehicle and crashed into a disabled Acura Integra on the shoulder of SR 57. The impact of the crash pushed the Acura into 23-year-old Frank Nguyen, who was crouched outside of his vehicle changing a flat tire. Nguyen was killed after being thrown over 75 feet and suffering traumatic injuries. The defendant remained at the scene.
The law describing the distinction between misdemeanor and felony manslaughter:
Misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter may be charged when there is “ordinary negligence,” or the failure to use reasonable care to prevent reasonably foreseeable harm to one’s self or another. A person is negligent if he or she does or fails to do something that a reasonable careful person would not do in the same situation.
Felony vehicular manslaughter may be charged when there is “gross negligence” which involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. Gross negligence would require a person to act in a reckless manner that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury and a reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk. The person’s action must be so different from how an ordinary careful person would act in the same situation that his or her act amounts to disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of the act.
Deputy District Attorney Bryan Clavecilla prosecuted this case.