Newark Driver Charged with Gross Vehicular Manslaughter in DUI Case (CA Penal Code 191.5(a))

Last Modified: October 14, 2020
September 16, 2013 | Rabin Nabizadeh | Gross Vehicular Manslaughter, Homicide

35-year-old (name withheld for privacy) was travelling down I-880 at around 1:30 a.m. when, after some kind of fight with another motorist, he was involved in a multiple car collision.  The crash left him dead and others watching the remnants of an exploded Ford Ranger belonging to a Newark man, who was later arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.  Another 18-year-old driver and his Dodge Magnum were involved in the accident, but he managed to leave the scene before police arrived. Local law enforcement officials also later arrested him at his Hayward home on DUI charges.

No one can yet be certain of the chain of events leading to the accident.  However, if either suspect is found to be responsible for the man’s death, both could be looking at some serious penalties pursuant to (CA Penal Code 191.5(a)) “Gross Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated.” However, because there was an alleged altercation that precipitated the crash, this case could fall under (CA Penal Code 187) a DUI second degree murder charge, otherwise known as a “Watson Murder.”

In the state of California, a “Watson Murder” is the worst of DUI felonies to be charged with (see People v. Watson, 1981).  When a person is charged with a “Watson Murder,” it is because the arresting officers believe that their state of intoxication was the cause of a traffic accident in which another person was killed.  Of course, prosecutors must be able to prove that the alleged offender purposefully acted in such a way that they consciously ignored the threat to human life (driving recklessly while intoxicated, for example).  This is difficult to prove because it involves determining a person’s internal mental state at the time of the alleged DUI.  However, if convicted, the penalties for a “Watson Murder” are severe with a maximum $10,000 fine and the possibility of 15 years to life in state prison.


latest news

February 27, 2024
What to Do if You’ve Been Arrested for a DUI in San Jose
Being arrested for a DUI in San Jose, CA, can have severe penalties, potentially resulting in jail time, losing your driver's license, and other serious consequences. Here's what to do if facing a DUI conviction after being accused of driving over the legal limit and how a California DUI lawyer can help you resolve your case with [...]
February 25, 2024
What Happens When You Get a DUI?
Getting a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) can be a stressful and life-changing event. It starts the moment a law enforcement officer suspects you've been drinking and driving. This can lead to being pulled over, undergoing a field sobriety test, and possibly being arrested. The consequences of a DUI arrest include legal action, potential jail [...]
February 6, 2024
What Can I Expect After Being Arrested for a DUI in San Jose?

Getting arrested for a DUI in San Jose can be a stressful and confusing experience. You might have many questions about what happens next and what you should do. Knowing the process and what to expect can help you navigate this challenging situation. It’s important to remember that a DUI arrest is severe, and the […]