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April 19, 2021

Salinas resident gets 17 years in prison for DUI crash that killed Gonzales man

SALINAS — Salinas resident Luciano Rojas Medina, 47, has been sentenced to prison for gross vehicular manslaughter with intoxication and for driving under the influence causing great bodily injury.

On Oct. 1, 2018, at 7:38 p.m., California Highway Patrol officers responded to a report of a traffic collision in the area of Highway 101 South, just north of Spence Road.

Upon arrival, officers learned that a pickup truck had been driving the wrong way in the southbound lane, causing a head-on collision that involved multiple vehicles. 

The crash killed Raymundo Navarro, 68, a resident of Gonzales. Two additional vehicles were also involved, with one of those motorists complaining of pain caused by the impact of the collision. 

“When officers contacted Medina, they noticed that he smelled of alcohol and that his speech was mumbled and slurred,” according to the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office in a news release. “Officers administered a series of Field Sobriety Tests, which Medina did not perform satisfactorily.”

Medina admitted to taking two shots of tequila prior to getting into the vehicle. He was later found to have a blood alcohol level of .24% — three times the legal limit.

At the time of the collision, Medina had already suffered a conviction for a prior misdemeanor DUI stemming from an incident that occurred in 2016. 

On March 2, Monterey County Judge Carrie M. Panetta sentenced Medina to serve a total term of 17 years and two months in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for his conduct.

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