Drunk driver who caused chain reaction crashes in Calif. that killed mom, 24, convicted of 2nd-degree murder


A man whose crash on a Southern California freeway while drunk led to a chain reaction of collisions that left a 24-year-old mother dead and five others hurt was convicted of second-degree murder on Tuesday, according to a report. 

Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto, 26, had twice the legal limit of blood alcohol in his system when he decided to leave a party in Anaheim, California, and drive home to Las Vegas on Aug. 23, 2018, according to the Orange County Register. 

He was also convicted of driving under the influence and causing great bodily injury. 

While driving south on Interstate 5, thinking it was Interstate 15, which leads to Nevada, he rear-ended a Prius at more than 100 mph, leaving his Dodge Challenger without lights on the freeway near Irvine. The Prius’ driver was able to pull to the side of the road. It’s unclear if they were one of the injured. 

A nearby tow truck driver helped Aguilar-Calixto out of his car and to the side of the road because he had passed out, but his Challenger was left on the freeway, according to MyNewsLA.com. 

Over the next 12 minutes, a van served to avoid Aguilar-Calixto’s car, hitting a median and blocking the HOV lane, and three others hit his car on the dark freeway — one flipping on its roof — leaving debris and disabled vehicles across the lanes.

Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto's arrest photo after he drove down Interstate 5 while drunk, causing a chain reaction of crashes. 

Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto’s arrest photo after he drove down Interstate 5 while drunk, causing a chain reaction of crashes. 
(Santa Ana Police )

Maria Osuna, who was driving with her infant son in the car, rear-ended a car in front of her when the driver abruptly braked to avoid hitting Aguilar-Calixto’s car. When she took off her seatbelt to check on her son in the backseat she was rear-ended by another vehicle, killing her, according to the Register. Her son was hurt in the crash. 

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“When we flirt with death don’t be shocked when he shows up,” Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman said during the trial, according to MyNewsLA. “That’s what Mr. Aguilar did.”

His blood alcohol level was 0.20% at the time of the crash, according to the website. The legal limit in California is .08.% 

“He set off in his three-month-old Dodge Challenger back to Las Vegas at 111 mph,” Feldman said. “Through his choices, through his decisions and actions, Mr. Aguilar in no uncertain terms set in motion a chain of events that death would be inevitable.”

Aguilar-Calixto’s attorney Fred Fascenelli had argued that his responsibility ended after the first crash when he rear-ended the Prius. 

He blamed the other drivers for being “inattentive” when they hit Aguilar-Calixto’s abandoned car. “At the end of the day, Ms. Osuna’s death was not as a direct result of what was put in motion by Mr. Aguilar,” he said. 

He also blamed the tow truck driver for moving his vehicle that had working lights off the freeway at the behest of a 911 responder. He said that decision wasn’t Aguilar-Calixto’s responsibility.

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Prosecutors played a recording of Aguilar-Calixto telling a responding officer that he was drunk but could “still function” and he didn’t consider himself “sloppy drunk.”

He will be sentenced in December, according to the Register. 

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