Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
March 18, 2010
Susan Kang Schroeder
UNLICENSED DRUNKEN DRIVER SENTENCED
FOR KILLING PASSENGER AFTER LOSING CONTROL
OF CAR AND CRASHING INTO TREE
WESTMINSTER – An unlicensed drunken driver was sentenced today to 16 months in state prison for killing his female passenger after losing control of his car and crashing into a tree. Vicente Garcia Ramirez, 23, Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence and one misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a valid license.
At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Jan. 9, 2010, Ramirez was driving in Garden Grove with a female friend, 22-year-old Joyce Lopez, in the passenger seat. The defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol level of .08 percent and without a driver’s license. Ramirez had spent the evening at a bar and a house party and consumed several alcoholic beverages.
Due to his unsafe speed, Ramirez lost control of his Nissan Altima on Magnolia Street and drove up the center divider of the road, crashing into a tree. Ramirez killed Lopez, who was transported to University of California, Irvine Medical Center and pronounced dead at 6:30 a.m. due to blunt force trauma.
Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Homicide Unit prosecuted this case.