Usually, we feel pretty safe when we’re on the sidewalk and not standing in traffic. But, on Tuesday, Nov. 3, one Santa Ana man lost his life while sitting on a sidewalk. It happened when a van swerved, fatally striking him.
At 1:09 p.m., officers from Santa Ana police and Orange County Fire Authority firefighters responded to a gruesome scene.
When they arrived to the 800 block of East McFadden Avenue, they discovered that R. Horta-Jaimi, 55, of Santa Ana was driving a van headed eastbound that struck and killed a 24-year-old man as he sat on the sidewalk.
According to Police Cmdr. Jeffery Smith, after the van struck the victim it continued driving, but fortunately there was a witness who saw the collision and followed the suspect with their vehicle.
The witness managed to stop the van and get the keys out to stop the driver from fleeing further, said Smith.
The police detained Horta-Jaime on East Hobart Street, west of South Standard Avenue. After Horta-Jaime failed a field sobriety test, he was arrested on suspicion of DUI and vehicular manslaughter.
According to the Orange County Register, 24-year-old victim was living at an assisted living facility near the accident scene.
While authorities investigated the scene, East McFadden Avenue was closed on both sides between South Standard and Orange avenues for about 5 hours.
What are the penalties for vehicular manslaughter?
In California, a person can be charged with vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence, or vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
If Horta-Jaimi is convicted of vehicular manslaughter, he faces up to 4 years in prison. On the other hand, if he’s convicted of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence, he faces up to 10 years in prison.
If you or someone you love is facing DUI charges in Orange County, contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for a hard-hitting defense. Our lead attorney is a Board Certified DUI specialist and a member of the National College for DUI Defense – call today!