Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
January 24, 2011
Susan Kang Schroeder
SPEEDING DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING MAN AFTER LOSING CONTROL OF VEHICLE AND CRASHING INTO VICTIM’S DISABLED CAR
FULLERTON – A speeding driver will be arraigned 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 Resendiz, 28, Fullerton, is charged with one misdemeanor count of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence and faces a maximum sentence of one year in jail if convicted. The People will be requesting $10,000 bail at Resendiz’s arraignment today, Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-8, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
At approximately 2:50 a.m. on Aug. 29, 2010, Resendiz is accused of speeding at approximately 55 mph in a 45 mph zone in a Ford Expedition and losing control on the transition curve from State Route 91 (SR 91) to State Route 57 (SR 57). He is accused of veering off the transition road from SR 91 across a planter diving the two freeways and striking a wooden post. Resendiz is accused of then continuing to cross the freeway in is vehicle and crashing 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 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 is prosecuting this case.