Rancho Cucamonga man to be arraigned on murder and DUI charges in Westminster crash that killed 2 cousins
SANTA ANA — A Rancho Cucamonga man accused of driving drunk and causing a fiery crash that killed two cousins from Corona on the 405 Freeway in Westminster is scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday on murder and DUI charges.
Christian Samuel Dominguez, 27, was charged Aug. 20 with two counts of second-degree murder, as well as single counts of driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of .08 percent or more causing injury and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, according to court records. He also faces sentencing enhancement allegations for inflicting great bodily injury.
Dominguez, who has been hospitalized since the Aug. 11 crash, was arrested on the charges last Thursday.
Murder charges were filed instead of vehicular manslaughter counts because he has a prior conviction for drunken driving in San Bernardino County Superior Court, according to court records, which show he pleaded no contest to DUI on Nov. 27, 2012.
Dominguez had a blood-alcohol level of at least .13 percent — nearly double the legal limit — following the crash that killed 39-year-old Roberto Ramirez and 26-year-old Ivan Ramirez and injured four others, including himself, according to prosecutors.
Dominguez was driving a Honda Accord at a “high speed” when the sedan slammed into the rear of a Ford pickup truck north of Beach Boulevard, triggering a chain-reaction crash involving a total of five vehicles about 4 a.m. in the southbound lanes of the freeway, said California Highway Patrol Officer Duane Graham.
The disabled Honda ended up in the middle lanes facing the wrong way, and a Kia then slammed head-on into the Accord, which erupted in flames, killing the two cousins, Graham said.
A Dodge pickup truck then clipped the Kia and veered off the road, and a Toyota Corolla then slammed into the rear of the Kia, Graham said.