A 25-year-old California man was accused of killing a Ventura County Sheriff's deputy in a drunk driving accident that took place on Oct. 28. Authorities say the accused man was driving a Honda along northbound Highway 101 at around 1:15 a.m. when he fatally struck a 41-year-old sheriff's deputy who was finishing a traffic stop.
Before he was hit, the sheriff's deputy had reportedly been walking back to his patrol car near the Lewis Road on-ramp after allowing the driver he had just pulled over to leave. The driver who struck the deputy apparently continued to travel after the fatal accident until he crashed his vehicle near Las Posas Road. He was taken into custody and charged for felony DUI, vehicular manslaughter and felony hit-and-run.
According to reports from the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, the accused driver was convicted of DUI once before in Nevada. He was held on $100,000 bond after the latest incident. A sheriff's sergeant who spoke with a reporter after the accident said that the accused driver came close to hitting other deputies who had arrived at the scene. It is unclear what kind of sobriety test the driver was given after the accident.
Charges that are handed to a driver right after an accident do not necessarily lead to convictions. Although a driver may be suspected of DUI, the results of a blood test are usually not available for weeks. If the results of the blood test do not confirm the prosecution's assertion that the driver was intoxicated, an attorney may be able to help a defendant avoid severe penalties.
Source: NBC Southern California, "Driver Arrested on Suspicion of Run Crash That Killed Deputy", Jonathan Lloyd and Toni Guinyard, October 28, 2014