A Redwood City woman and teenage boy were killed on September 3rd after the truck they were passengers in left the roadway, rolled, and eventually struck a tree. Ann Marie Miller, 39 and a 14-year-old boy were both pronounced dead at the scene. Now, Reyes Barajas, a 46-year-old Redwood City man, has been charged with two counts of DUI causing injury or death. News reports state Barajas may also face charges of gross vehicular manslaughter.
According to California Highway Patrol officer Bryan Konvalin, Barajas was at the wheel of the truck involved in the crash and was allegedly drunk when he lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into the tree. The accident took place around 4:45 p.m. just east of County Road 40 along state Highway 16 near Woodland. Barajas was driving a Toyota Tacoma, and had been traveling west when the crash took place. Why the truck left the roadway is not known; it traveled approximately 75 feet down a steep embankment before crashing into the tree.
The two passengers died after the right side of the truck slammed into the tree. Barajas was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, where California Highway Patrol officers responded and determined that Barajas was under the influence of alcohol when the accident occurred. Konvalin stated that upon Barajas’ release from the hospital, he would be booked into Yolo County Jail. He remained in the hospital as of Wednesday, September 5th.
Being charged with vehicular manslaughter is very serious; those convicted may face not only steep monetary fines and a criminal record, but substantial time behind bars depending on the circumstances. Redwood City criminal defense lawyers know that while it is easy for the DA and police to quickly conclude that the individual who consumed alcohol and was behind the wheel must be at fault, this is not always the case.
Often, road conditions, weather and other external factors are to blame when a tragic accident such as this one occurs. If you have been arrested for DUI and/or charged with vehicular manslaughter, consult with a skilled Redwood City criminal defense attorney at once.