SANTA ANA, California – Suspected drunk driver Ryan Manuel Hernandez, 22, of Anaheim, has been charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter following the deaths of two friends in a Buena Park crash on Feb. 10, according to a press release by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
The Anaheim man faces up to 11 years in state prison if he is convicted of all charges, including sentencing enhancements for causing great bodily injury and a prior strike conviction for a 2007 robbery. Hernandez is being held on $250,000 bail and his arraignment is on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012, in Department CJ-1, Central Jail, Santa Ana.
After a night of drinking with his friends at a Fullerton bar, Hernandez lost control of his vehicle while attempting to change lanes and crashed his vehicle into a light pole. The group of friends was out celebrating the 24th birthday of their friend Jose Zuniga, the district attorney’s office said.
Hernandez was the driver, Jose Zuniga was in the front passenger seat and in the rear seats were Everado Zuniga and Jose Hernandez, both 22. Following the crash, the two back seat passengers were trapped in the car and pronounced dead at the scene, the press release said. Jose Zuniga refused medical attention.
At the time of the crash, Buena Park Police Department noticed the accused appeared to be under the influence of alcohol because his eyes were bloodshot and watery and they smelled alcohol. The defendant was transported to the hospital to be treated for a sprained arm and was released to the custody.
Police investigate every car accident involving a death to determine the cause of a crash and to find out if a driver was under the influence of alcohol, distracted or if there were any circumstances that may have led to the crash that were illegal or reckless.
“Families of victims killed in car accidents not only have to cope with the loss of a loved one, but later their lives may be forever changed due to the loss of income and other costs,” said Attorney West Thomas.
If you have lost a loved one in a car accident we know that this is a difficult time. Families of victims killed in car accidents may not know who to turn to for help. For roughly 30 years, the legal experts at Thomas Law Firm have represented hundreds of clients who were injured in serious traffic accidents or have lost a loved one. We can help you determine if you need a lawyer so that you may be compensated for financial losses such as medical and funeral costs.
Call us today at 1-855-ASK WEST to speak with our compassionate car accident law firm. Thomas Law Firm has offices in California including its headquarters in Irvine. We also have offices outside of Orange County to serve you in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and in Las Vegas, Nevada.