A 21-year-old man has been charged with murder for a fatal DUI crash that left 61-year-old Kyu Chen of Irvine.
According to a KTLA news report, Luis Marcial Diaz faces one felony count of murder for the death of Chen, who was on her way to work early morning on Sept. 27 when Diaz crashed into her vehicle after running a red light at the intersection of Sand Canyon Road and Irvine Center Drive.
Felony Murder Charge
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer pointed out that this was a woman who was just on her way to work and that “the tragedy of it all, is she didn’t have to die.” Diaz was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence in Huntington Beach back in 2019 as well. In that instance, he was charged with DUI drugs, possession of nitrous oxide, and driving without a valid license.
Those arrested on suspicion of DUI in California can be given a “Watson advisement,” which lets them know they can be charged with murder if they kill someone while driving under the influence. Spitzer also told the media that just hours before the crash that killed Chen, doctors managed to save Diaz from overdosing on fentanyl.
Diaz is suspected of taking more drugs after being released from the hospital, prosecutors say. He now faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison if convicted. Our thoughts and prayers are with Chen’s family for their tragic and heartbreaking loss.
Justice for Victims’ Families
It is illegal in all 50 U.S. states to drive under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, opioids, methamphetamines, or any potentially impairing drug, whether they are prescription or over-the-counter drugs. Driving while impaired by any substance – whether legal or illegal – puts drivers and others in harm’s way. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 56% of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes between October and December 2020 tested positive for at least one drug.
If you have lost a loved one due to the actions of a DUI driver, it is important that you contact an experienced Orange County DUI victims’ lawyer who will stand up for your rights and hold all the at-fault parties accountable.