A 21-year-old died on the side of Santiago Canyon Road after a driver struck his bicycle and knocked him onto the pavement. The driver of the alleged vehicle, an 18-year-old woman who was on methamphetamines at the time of the accident is now in custody.
Scheduled for an arraignment on Tuesday, Sommer Gonzales, of Tustin, faced various charges. Including, suspicion of felony vehicular manslaughter, driving under the influence of drugs, hit and run, and possession of a controlled substance. It also did not help that she had several related misdemeanors stacked against her. If convicted, she can face 15 years and eight months in state prison, plus one year and six months in Orange County Jail.
Investigators first arrested Gonzales on Feb. 2, when the accident happened. They said her vehicle veered into the bike lane of Santiago Canyon Road and struck Joseph Robinson. Although they released her days later, California Highway Patrol investigators further explored the case.
Prosecutors allege Gonzales lost control of her Toyota Corolla, struck Robinson, and fled. They said an Orange County Fire Authority battalion chief saw her vehicle near the scene of the wrongful death. He was on his way to work when he spotted the Corolla’s peculiar caved-in windshield. Moments later he stumbled upon Robinson’s lifeless body. In an instant he dialed 911 and gave the operator a full description of the scene and the car with peculiar damage, which he passed.
Almost an hour after the phone call from the battalion chief, Orange County deputies came upon the damaged Corolla. They found it in a Rancho Santa Margarita parking lot. They also found Gonzales. She was under the influence and had a pipe and methamphetamines in her pocket. Gonzales tested positive for the drug she had in her pocket according to a blood test.
Gonzales is now held unless she can post the $100,000 bail.
Robinson’s family has to deal with a lost loved one whom they didn’t have a chance to tell goodbye.
Wrongful death is a serious issue and involves serious legal complications. Get represented by experienced Orange County lawyers, call AA Accident Attorneys today.