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Man Faces 7+ Years in Prison for DUI Crash That Killed Cousin

Dennis Rogelio Salguero, 23, entered the pleas in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on Thursday for the Dec. 18, 2013, crash that killed his cousin, 33-year-old Gilbert Vallejo of Daly City.

By Bay City News Service: 

A South San Francisco man has pleaded no contest to felony vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence in connection with a 2013 crash in Daly City that left his cousin dead, prosecutors said Friday.

Dennis Rogelio Salguero, 23, entered the pleas in San Mateo County Superior Court in Redwood City on Thursday for the Dec. 18, 2013, crash that killed his cousin, 33-year-old Gilbert Vallejo of Daly City.

He faces a seven-year, eight-month prison sentence after reaching a plea agreement with the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office.

 Prosecutors said Salguero spent the afternoon downing tequila shots at his father's home in Daly City on the day of his cousin's death. Even after his father and uncle urged him to take BART, the defendant insisted on driving with Vallejo and another cousin as passengers, according to prosecutors.

Salguero was speeding on Interstate Highway 280 in Daly City when he struck the center divider near Westlake Avenue, causing Vallejo to be ejected from the car. Vallejo was killed and Salguero and his other cousin suffered moderate injuries in the crash, according to prosecutors.

Officers arriving on the scene found the defendant unconscious in the driver's seat and obviously intoxicated. His blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.14 percent, prosecutors said.

Salguero's sentencing is set for June 12.


Mike April 26, 2014 at 03:59 PM
Given our years or experience, as well as the level of awareness generated by both the frequency of this sort of event, the educational process, and multitude of public communications via the news media and other sources the common man or woman should without a doubt recognizes that operating a vehicle under the influence of a substance presents a clear and present danger to the general public and especially to anyone who is in, or near the vehicle being operated by a person who is impaired. It should not be a revelation that operating a vehicle while impaired due to consuming an intoxicant or “controlled substance” is a conscience and willful act carried out with very little if any concern at all for anything other than ones’ personal objectives. The operator knowingly and of their own free will takes part in this illegal act with full knowledge of the legality and possible outcomes which include everything from possible property damage to the death of innocent people. So, operating a vehicle while impaired would appear to be an act that is near intentional. However, regardless of the extent near intentional does not play out as premeditated. To say the least in the case of driving while impaired that is simply unfortunate. It is my understanding that as the current law is written a murder conviction or even a “charge” for violating that Penal Code Section (sec. 187 CA. PC.) is very difficult if not impossible to achieve. This issue needs to be addressed and changed. There is a public safety need for a more common sense approach that brings about a greater degree of accountability. The penalty needs to be increased especially when a life is lost as a result of driving while impaired. In this instance we see a 7 year sentence for a conscience act that was likely to result in the death of another human being and it did. This is not something that I believe is equitable. Particularly when one considers the basic intent of Manslaughter is to punish a person for the unlawful killing of a human being “upon a sudden quarrel or heat of passion,” meaning the accused did not have the malicious intent to murder due to the suddenness of the situation. When someone is killed because a person was operating a vehicle while impaired I do not see a connection with the “suddenness of the situation”. It is more like a reasonably predictable event.
American hero May 06, 2014 at 06:56 PM
Way to long of a post. You might as well wrote a book. Most people don't read more than a paragraph.

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