A driver was charged with DUI and murder on Thursday, December 10, in connection with a fatal DUI crash. The accident for which the driver has been charged occurred in Newport Coast a few days earlier on Tuesday, December 8.
According to the details shared by the Newport Beach Police Department, the incident took place at Newport Coast Drive and Pelican Hills Road South. The deceased were identified by the police as Gabriela M. Andrade, 28, and Henry Eduardo Saldana-Mejia, 27.
The duo had arrived in town so that Saldana-Mejia could take his final paycheck from the Pelican Hill Resort. The couple had their three daughters aged 1, 3, and 5, in the vehicle with them. At around 7:45 p.m. the family was driving near Newport Coast Drive. This was when their vehicle, identified as a Nissan, was hit by a second vehicle, identified as a Range Rover.
Both Saldana-Mejia and his wife Andrade were in the front seat while the kids were riding in the back seats. The couple sustained critical injuries in the collision. They were pronounced dead on the scene once first responders and paramedics reached the scene of the crash. The three young daughters of the couple also sustained injuries and were hospitalized for further treatment.
The driver of the Range Rover charged with DUI and murder was identified as Grace Elizabeth Coleman, 22. Coleman fled the scene of the crash and was later apprehended by the authorities. Following her arrest, it was discovered that she was driving under the influence of alcohol when the incident occurred. Based on this discovery and other evidence, a number of charges were brought against Coleman.
These include two counts of second-degree murder, one count of DUI causing injury, one count of aggravated DUI with injury, and one count of hit-and-run involving injury or death.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a traffic incident, contact our California car accident attorneys for help or guidance.