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Orange County Drunk Driver Crashes into Disabled Car: Who is at Fault?


Posted on Oct 23, 2010

Thirty-eight-year old Trevor Mark Coffman pleaded guilty on Friday, October 22 to two counts of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence for his part in a crash that left two people dead in March 2007.
 
The Orange County car accident occurred on southbound I-5 near El Toro Road on March 15, 2007 at 11:20 p.m.
 
Sally Lee Howd, 76, and her husband Frank Howd, 82, were returning home from Los Angeles International Airport with Catherine Malloy, 72, when their Volvo collided with a Toyota Celica and became disabled. 
 
Coffman crashed his Ford pickup truck into the disabled Volvo.  Catherine Malloy and Frank Howd were killed by the impact. Sally Lee Howd was seriously injured.
 
Blood tests taken after the crash found that Coffman had a blood-alcohol level of .099 percent and .105 percent; both results are over the legal limit of .08 percent .  Coffman is accused of failing to stop in time to prevent the collision because he was driving under the influence
 
Coffman’s attorney says that other tests showed Coffman had a blood-alcohol level that was under the legal limit and that the car crash could not be avoided because it occurred on a dark freeway and involved disabled cars that didn't have emergency lights on.
 
However, Coffman pled guilty to two counts of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence instead of possibly facing more serious charges that could result in a 14-year prison term.  
 
Coffman will be sentenced to four years in prison.

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