State Prison for DUI driver that Killed one in Head-On crash

by Placerville Newswire / Jul 05, 2018 / comments

[James Clinchard, Assistant District Attorney]

A driver impaired by alcohol who caused the death of female driver and injury to her passenger in a head-on vehicle collision was sentenced to 11 years State Prison in a plea agreement with the El Dorado County District Attorney Office. The driver, Adam E. Lara, of Rescue, pled no contest on May 31st to Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated (Penal Code section 191.5 (a)), driving with a blood alcohol content greater than .08% causing injury (Vehicle Code §23153(b)) and driving on a suspended license (Vehicle Code §14601.2).  Lara previously admitted special allegations he had a prior prison commitment, a prior DUI conviction and drove with a blood alcohol level above .15%. Lara was sentenced on July 3rd by Judge Mark Ralphs in Department 7 of the El Dorado Superior Court.  Under current law, the maximum sentence for Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while Intoxicated is 10 years State Prison.

On February 4th, Lara allowed his Jeep Cherokee to drift into the opposing traffic lane on a straightaway portion of Mother Lode Drive, east of Greenstone Road near the town of El Dorado. The Cherokee collided with the passenger side of a Toyota Celica going in the opposite direction; instantly killing Ashleigh Harrison and causing minor injuries to the driver, Marissa Killsback, both of Placerville. Soon after, officers responded to the location and noted Lara smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech.  A blood sample taken from Lara was subsequently tested and his blood alcohol content registered at over twice the legal limit (.19%).

The case was investigated by the California Highway Patrol and El Dorado County Sheriff Office and prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Michael Pizzuti; who is assigned to vertically prosecute felony driving under the influence and vehicular manslaughter cases for the El Dorado County District Attorney Office under a traffic safety grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety.