There are many stories in the news and on this blog that show the terrible consequences that can occur when a person chooses to get behind the wheel while under the influence. A particularly horrific incident was reported by multiple media outlets this past week. This gruesome and gory car accident occurred in Oceanside, California during the early morning hours of June 27th.
After spending the night out drinking with friends, an intoxicated Esteysi Sanchez headed home. The 29 -year old was driving down Mission Avenue when she slammed into a pedestrian with her car. Police are unsure if the man, who was a local transient from the area, "was on the sidewalk or the street at the time of the collision." It is believed that he was coming from or going to Brother Benno's soup kitchen.
The details of the accident are horrific. When he was hit, he flew through the windshield of Sanchez's car. According to the Washington Post, "[h]e crashed through the window such that the top of his head rested on the passenger seat while his body remained lodged in the jagged hole in the windshield." The man was struck with such force his leg was severed from his body. The detached limb "flew through the back window and landed on the trunk of her car." With a man's body in her windshield, Sanchez continued driving for about three-quarters of a mile. When she finally came to a stop, she didn't call the police but rather went to her home, which was located nearby. It was her husband who ended up contacting authorities.
The man who was "pronounced dead on the scene," was later identified as Jack Ray Tenhulzen. When police talked to Sanchez, she "admitted to drinking and driving." She was arrested and charged with felony DUI as well as vehicular manslaughter. In addition, she was charged with hit and run resulting in death and driving without a license. The Los Angeles Times reported that "[t]he [criminal] complaint alleges Sanchez's blood alcohol level was .15% or higher." If Sanchez is convicted, she could face "up to 15 years and six months in prison."
And though you would think this is a rare event, according to the Washington Post, this isn't the only time in the last year that someone was struck with such force that they ended up flying through a windshield. In a crash in late December 2015 in New York, Maria Lentini hit a man, Patrick Duff, who was walking along a road and drove around with his body stuck in her windshield for an hour. She texted friends and family, but didn't contact police. It was her sister who finally called 911. Unlike in Sanchez's case, it is not believed she was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the crash. She is facing different charges than Sanchez as well. She was charged in June of 2016 with "with leaving the scene of an incident without reporting, 1st degree endangerment, and refusal to submit a breath test." The victim's friends are wondering "why Lentini isn't facing tougher charges" and have started a Facebook page seeking justice for Duff.
If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, you want an experienced and knowledgeable attorney on your side. Aaron Wolff has been working as a defense attorney for the last 14 years and has extensive experience in defending DUI cases. Contact our office today.