A California man was sentenced to 15 years in state prison on Friday, July 21, after killing one woman and injuring five in a head-on collision while drunk in 2016. He was on probation for drunk driving at the time. Police also found meth in his system.
Johnny Mendoza, 27, of Visalia, was sentenced for DUI manslaughter by Tulare County Superior Court Judge Michael Sheltzer on July 21. Mendoza pleaded no contest to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in May.
The case included a special allegation of causing injury to more than one person and one count of DUI causing injury with a prior DUI conviction, with three special allegations of causing great bodily harm, according to police press release.
Mendoza had a DUI conviction from 2014, in which his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was 0.23 percent, nearly three times the state legal limit of 0.08 percent. He was on probation at the time of the crash. Mendoza skipped the court ordered DUI classes and failed to install an ignition interlock device.
The fatal crash occurred when the 42-year-old female victim was driving on Highway 65 with five passengers. Mendoza headed toward the victim in her lane, she tried to swerve out of the way, but Mendoza hit her head on.
The driver died shortly after the crash, her 13-year-old daughter sustained a broken arm, her 6-year-old son suffered a severe head laceration, a 22-year-old passenger’s neck was broken. The victim’s 11-year-old old son and 17-year-old daughter were also injured.
Mendoza’s BAC was 0.09 percent and he tested positive for methamphetamine, according to police investigations.