|For Immediate Release
Case # TBA
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
SPEEDING DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED
FOR KILLING ONE FRIEND AND INJURING ANOTHER
BY CRASHING INTO TREE AFTER LOSING
CONTROL OF HIS CAR
SANTA ANA – A 20-year-old speeding drunken driver has been charged with killing one friend and injuring another after losing control of his car and crashing into a tree. Rigoberto Mendozamora, San Juan Capistrano, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated with a sentencing enhancement allegation for causing bodily injury to an additional victim. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 11 years in state prison. The People will be requesting $150,000 bail at Mendozamora’s arraignment today, Tuesday, March 9, 2010, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana. The time is to be determined.
At approximately 2:45 a.m. on March 6, 2010, Mendozamora is accused of driving while under the influence of alcohol at a high rate of speed on Pacific Coast Highway in Dana Point. The defendant is accused of having friends Daniel Higuera, 24, and Jesus Avalos-Munguia, 24, as passengers in his Honda sedan. Mendozamora is accused of losing control of his car due to his intoxication and high rate of speed, and crashing into a tree near Green Lantern Street.
Avalos-Munguia died at the scene as a result of his injuries. Higuera was transported to the hospital to be treated for lacerations and abrasions to his face and body, neck pain, and other possible injuries. Mendozamora is accused of causing the crash that killed Avalos-Munguia and injured Higuera.
When officers arrived at the scene, Mendozamora is accused of displaying objective signs of intoxication including omitting a strong odor of alcohol, and having bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, and a lack of balance.
The investigation is ongoing. Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.