A Las Vegas driver who crashed into another car at over 100 mph on Highway 5 while drunk was sentenced to jail Friday for a series of chain-reaction collisions that killed his mother.
A month after Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto was convicted of second-degree murder, Orange County Supreme Court Justice Gary S. Paer sentenced him to 15 years in prison, stating that “the only error in the judgment” resulted in ” A harsh punishment and a harsh lesson. “
However, the judge chose not to issue the maximum sentence, which could include an additional 17 years in prison. The judge explained his decision, which is in line with the recommendation of the prosecutor’s office, noting that 26-year-old Aguilar-Kaliksto had no previous convictions and, judging by the letter from his pastor and others who know him, looked like a good person.
“Unfortunately for Mr. Calixto, he set off a chain of events that killed a young woman,” Paer said. “Drunk driving is not good, especially when cars are traveling at 100 miles per hour and blood alcohol levels are double the legal limit.”
On 23 August 2018, Aguilar-Calixto suffered a series of accidents on a darkened section of South Road 5 near junction 405, killing 24-year-old Maria Osuna and at least five others, including baby Osuna. get injured.
According to testimony during his trial, Aguilar-Calixto was hanging out and drinking on Airbnb in Anaheim when he decided to ignore his friends’ warnings and drive home to Las Vegas. Aguilar-Calixto raced along South Road 5, apparently mistakenly believing it was Freeway 15 towards Vegas.
According to prosecutors, Aguilar-Calixto crashed into a Prius in his Dodge Challenger at 108 mph. A passing tow truck driver called 911 and helped move the Prius to the side of the freeway. But the disabled Challenger with the headlights off remained on the freeway exit.
The Dodge van driver swerved to avoid the Challenger, instead hitting the middle of the freeway, blocking the HOV lane. Three more cars hit the Challenger in quick succession, including an SUV that rolled over when it hit a freeway dividing wall and came to a halt in an overturned state.
Another driver slammed on the brakes to avoid a collision with the Challenger, and Osuna read them. Osuna removed her seat belt, apparently in order to turn around and check her baby in the back seat of her car, and was killed when another car hit her from behind.
Waves of crashes over a 12-minute period left debris on the roadway, and over half a dozen vehicles blocked lanes as drivers and passengers fled in search of safety.
In a recorded conversation shortly after the accident, Aguilar-Calixto told a CHP officer that he knew it was dangerous to drive drunk, but that he was not “careless drunk,” explaining that “I was drunk but could still function.”
Aguilar-Calixto’s attorney, Frederic Faskenelli, argued during the trial that his client’s liability for the accident ended with the initial collision.
The 911 dispatcher told the driver of the tow truck, who showed up after the initial accident, to move his vehicle out of the way, even though the tow truck has headlights that could alert oncoming drivers of the Challenger’s handicap, Fascinelli told jurors. The crash site was safe until two truck drivers were ordered to remove his car, a lawyer said.
Judge Paer echoed the words spoken by Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman at the opening of the trial, telling Aguilar-Calixto that “when you are flirting with death, do not be surprised when death appears.”
“These are seven vehicles moving at high speed, heavy collisions and collisions,” the judge said. “When you look at this disaster scene, it’s amazing that nobody died.”
None of the victims or their family members were present at the sentencing. Aguilar-Calixto did not speak, and although a group of about a dozen family members and supporters sat in the audience behind him, none of them made statements in court.