A drunk driver who caused a 100mph ‘chain reaction’ crash on a California highway that killed a young mother while he was on his way home to Las Vegas from a party was convicted of second-degree murder.
Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto, 25, was found guilty of second-degree murder in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday for causing a series of crashes on Interstate 405 in August 2018 that killed 24-year-old Maria Osuna and injured five other people, including Osuna’s infant baby.
Aguilar-Calixto, who lived in Nevada, had decided to drive 260 miles to Las Vegas after a night of drinking with his friends at an Airbnb in Anaheim. His blood-alcohol level was 0.20%, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08% in California, at the time of the crash.
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Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto’s wrecked Dodge Challenger following the deadly collision in 2018
Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto, whose blood-alcohol level was reported to be 0.20% is captured laid out on the side of the road
First responders arrive to the scene of the ‘chain reaction’ collision on the that injured five people and killed one person
The drunken Aguilar-Calixto sped down the Interstate 5 Freeway believing it was the I-15 toward Vegas when he crashed his Dodge Challenger into a Prius at 108mph without braking, which set off a ‘four phase’ series of crashes that lasted over 12 minutes, prosecutors said.
While the Prius the 26-year-old slammed into was able to move to the side of the highway, Aguilar-Calixto’s Challenger was left abandoned on the freeway with its lights off after a tow truck driver helped the passed-out Aguilar-Calixto’s out of the car.
Shortly after, a Dodge van that tried to avoid the wrecked Challenger swerved and hit a freeway median, blocking the HOV lane, followed by three more cars that rammed into the Challenger, including an SUV that flipped and landed on the freeway divider upside down.
One the three cars to collide with the Challenger was a Mitsubishi Spyder driven by Osuna, who had her son in the backseat.
Irving Abel Aguilar-Calixto, 25, (pictured) was found guilty of second-degree murder last week for causing a series of crashes on the Interstate 405 in August 2018
A drunken Aguilar-Calixto sped down the Interstate 5 Freeway believing it was the 15 Freeway toward Vegas when he set off a chain of accidents
A drunken Aguilar-Calixto crashed his Dodge Challenger into a Prius (pictured) at 108mph without braking
The crash included an SUV that flipped and landed on the freeway divider upside down (pictured)
Multiple cars were wrecked in an effort to avoid crashing into Aguilar-Calixto’s abandoned Dodge Challenger
After the initial collision, she unbuckled her seatbelt to check on her 6-month old son when a van rear-ended the car, killing the mother.
‘When we flirt with death don’t be shocked when he shows up,’ Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Feldman said. ‘That’s what Mr. Aguilar did.’
‘He set off in his three-month-old Dodge Challenger back to Las Vegas at 111 mph,’ Feldman added. ‘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.’
Prosecutors played a recording of a conversation between Aguilar-Calixto and California Highway Patrol officers following the accident where he admitted he knew that driving under the influence was dangerous but that he was not a ‘sloppy drunk’ therefore he ‘could still function.’
A few weeks prior to the deadly wreck, Aguilar-Calixto’s had received a ticket for driving 61 mph in a 35-mph zone in Las Vegas.
But during the trial, defense attorneys argued that Aguilar-Calixto was not responsible for the chain of events that occurred after his initial collision with the Prius.
‘This truly is a case of personal responsibility, but it’s a case where personal responsibility ends and another person’s responsibility begins,’ his attorney Fred Fascenelli told jurors.
Fascenelli placed the blame on other ‘inattentive’ drivers for slamming into the abandoned Challenger.
‘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,’ Fascenelli said.
Aguilar-Calixto’s defense attorneys also blamed the tow truck driver for following the advise of a 911 dispatcher and moving his vehicle with working lights off the dimly lit freeway, a decision he said was not Aguilar-Calixto’s responsibility, the Register reported.
Aguilar-Calixto is scheduled for sentencing in December.
Aguilar-Calixto told California Highway Patrol officers he knew driving while under the influence was dangerous but that he was not ‘sloppy drunk’ therefore he ‘could still function’
Aguilar-Calixto was captured being carted off by paramedics following the ‘chain reaction’ collision that began when he rear ended a Prius
Aguilar-Calixto’s crash set off a ‘four phase’ series of crashes that lasted over 12 minutes that would kill 24-year-old Maria Osuna and injure five others