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Uber Passenger Killed in Costa Mesa DUI Crash

An Irvine woman was killed after a suspected drunk driver T-boned the Uber vehicle that picked her up from a Costa Mesa bar in the early morning hours of July 7.

J. Gardner, 29, of Irvine, left The Huddle Bar located at 741 Baker St. with a 29-year-old Huntington Beach resident around 1:35 a.m.

The man and woman got into the back seat of a Ford Escape they hailed through the popular ride-sharing service, Uber. As the SUV crossed Baker Street, a BMW 540i drove straight into the driver’s side of the Ford Escape, police said.

The Uber passengers were transported to a local trauma center in Santa Ana. According to Costa Mesa Police Lt. Greg Scott, Gardner later died due to complications from chest trauma.

Gardner was seated behind the driver, which was the side that the BMW struck, said Scott.

The Uber driver was a 43-year-old resident of Irvine; the driver complained of chest pain and was taken to a local hospital, police said.

BMW’s Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Felony DUI

The driver of the BMW, P. Sandoval, a 19-year-old resident of Costa Mesa, was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, according to Costa Mesa police.

Sandoval was treated for chest pain at Hoag Hospital before the police booked him in Costa Mesa on $100,000 bail. Later, Sandoval was transferred to Orange County jail.

The police are still investigating the crash and have not released any more details, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Penalties for Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated

If Sandoval is convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated he faces from 1 year in county jail to 4 years in state prison. If he is convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, with gross negligence, he faces 1 to 10 years behind bars.

The specific penalties for DUI manslaughter depend on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC), the number of people injured or killed, and their criminal history.

Are you facing DUI charges in Orange County? Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to discuss your case with a Board Certified DUI expert!