When California Car Crashes Lead to Murder Charges

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Car crashes rank among the scariest events on the road. Anyone who has been in a car accident is familiar with the feeling that comes immediately after the car has come to a stop.

First you check yourself and your passengers to make sure you’re okay. Then you may check your car, and the people in the other car. If everyone is okay, then you’ll think about the major headache to come, with calling the police, reporting the accident to the insurance company, and dealing with a damaged car. However, in some cases, if another person is seriously injured or killed, you may face criminal charges.

Accidental Car Crash

Most car crashes are just that, they’re accidents. Additionally, in most cases, people involved in an accident leave and head home without any criminal charges. However, circumstances change depending on what the driver was doing at the time of the accident. In the case where a person dies, the driver may face manslaughter or even murder charges.

Some California drivers have recently found themselves charged with murder after a car crash, due to:

  • Drunk Driving
  • Street Racing
  • Road Rage

A Few Notable Examples

Brian Jones

Brian Jones, a man in Livermore, California was involved in a car accident killed a 46-year-old woman and her 14-month-old daughter. According to reports, Jones was under the influence of alcohol driving at speeds of 75 to 99 miles per hour through residential streets, when he lost control of his car. The car went off the road, and hit the woman and her daughter, before crashing into the back of an apartment patio area, where two other children were injured.

Jones blew a blood-alcohol level of 0.14 percent, almost double the legal limit of 0.08 percent. He was charged with two counts of murder and two counts of DUI causing injury. Jones decided to plea not guilty, and is being held in jail without bail. Due to his plea, Jones currently faces a potential sentence of life in prison.

Even for drivers who are not under the influence, car crashes and reckless driving can put them in jail facing murder charges. The Fast and Furious movie franchise shows the exciting side of street racing. Sadly, the film does not play up the possibility of real prison time if a person loses their life. A young man in Orange County now knows the dangers of street racing.

Alec Abraham

Alec Abraham, 20-years-old, of Costa Mesa faces charges of a hit-and-run crash. Unfortunately, this crash that killed a 54-year-old woman and her 2-year-old granddaughter. Deputy District Attorney Stephen Cornwell said Abraham ran a red light. He then crashed into a another vehicle where the two victims were killed. Abraham also injured two others. One account claims Abraham even looked into the victim’s car and then left. Reportedly, he asked to borrow a bystander’s cell phone then ran away with the phone. Officers arrested Abraham the next day.

The car crashes may stem from a street race between Abraham and another unidentified driver. Initially, the state charged Abraham with two counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. However, the state later upgraded the charges to murder counts. According to Cornwell, this upgrade found roots in some new evidence and witness statements.

Car Crashes: Intent or No Intent

In these cases, the state is not trying to show that the drivers held intent to kill. They, however, do wish to prove the drivers’ reckless behavior created a high risk for death of another.

With that said, however, a California woman is likely facing murder charges for causing fatal accident. Allegedly, she intentionally ran over a motorcyclist in what CHP officers are calling a road rage incident.

Darla Renee Jackson allegedly got into some disagreement with a man on a motorcycle. They went back and forth along the I-5 in San Diego, onto the State Route 54 near National City. According to the CHP, Jackson hit the motorcycle from behind, and then ran over the driver, who later died. Jackson now may be facing murder charges.

Ask for Help

If you find yourself on the wrong side of the law and in need of a criminal defense lawyer, call The Kavinoky Law Firm. Our experienced lawyers practice all parts of defense and keep up-to-date on the latest legal proceedings.



John Devendorf
John Devendorf
John Devendorf is a California barred attorney and graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law. He writes on a range of legal topics including criminal law, immigration, and legal marketing. While he is not a member of The Kavinoky Law Firm, we share his legal insights on topics important to our clients.