A state appellate court panel Thursday upheld a drunken driver’s conviction on second-degree murder and other charges for a crash on the San Diego (405) Freeway in Torrance that resulted in the death of two construction workers.
The three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the defense’s contention that there were errors in Yocio Jonathan Gomez’s trial in Torrance.
Gomez had a suspended driver’s license and was on probation for his second DUI conviction at the time of the July 22, 2012, early-morning crash.
He was driving his Ford Explorer at 92 mph next to a construction zone on the freeway when he rear-ended a Lexus RX350 that was traveling at an estimated 47 mph, according to the appellate court panel’s 14-page ruling.
The Lexus spun out of control into the construction area, killing Ricardo Zamora, 58, of Westchester, and Ramon Lopez, 56, of Chino Hills.
The appellate court justices found that “Gomez’s actions, including his intoxication, high driving speed and erratic lane changing, were substantial factors causing the car collision and subsequent deaths.”
Gomez, who lived in Wilmington at the time of the crash, was convicted in April 2014 of two counts each of second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count each of DUI causing injury and DUI causing injury with two prior convictions for DUI in 2008 and 2009.
He is serving a state prison term of 34 years to life.
— Wire reports