It is sometimes horrifying to realize how quickly a fatal car accident can occur. Something as simple as the few seconds it takes to change a radio station is all the time it takes for such an event to occur. Unfortunately, police in California may be quick to believe that an accident is the result of a driver who is under the influence of alcohol even before there is evidence to support such accusations. In fact, a teenager is now accused of vehicular manslaughter, among other crimes, following a recent crash.

The incident happened one morning on a day in October. A witness claims that a vehicle passed him at a high rate of speed. That same vehicle then allegedly struck a stopped vehicle in the rear. The California Highway Patrol claims that there was no evidence that the driver of alleged striking vehicle engaged his brakes.

Both cars caught on fire as a result of the collision. While the driver of the vehicle that was reportedly stopped died at the scene, passersby were able to pull the 18-year-old driver and his 19-year-old passenger from the other vehicle involved. That driver, who is facing accusations of driving under the influence resulting in injury or death to another and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, reportedly suffered minor injuries while his passenger suffered severe injuries to his abdomen.

In an accident such as this, there are many elements to consider. For example, if there was no evidence of braking as indicated by police, it may be important to determine whether the car may have malfunctioned. In all criminal cases, there must be sufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Because of the seriousness of the vehicular manslaughter and other charges, the California defendant in this case may need help ensuring that he fully understands his available options.

Source:, “18-year-old arrested in fiery fatal crash west of Turlock“, Deke Farrow, Oct. 23, 2017