San Diego driver charged in DUI death of pregnant woman
Posted on Jan 06, 2010
A 21-year-old pregnant woman died early on New Year’s Day in the first DUI car crash of 2010.
Lemon Grove resident, Elaina Luquis-Ortiz was waiting with friends for roadside assistance with a flat tire. They were on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 805 near the Home Avenue east of downtown San Diego.
Luquis-Ortiz had gone to help two friends who had recently purchased the vehicle from Ms. Luquis-Ortiz. The car, a Mitsubishi Spider, was still in her name. She was needed at the scene in order to call for roadside assistance.
While the women were waiting for help to arrive, they sat in Luquis-Ortiz’s Mazda RX7. The Mazda was struck by a 2006 Chevy Tahoe driven by 40-year-old Joseph Venegas of San Diego.
Luquis-Ortiz was six months pregnant. She died at the scene. The fetus did not survive. Her friends were transported to the Scripps Mercy Hospital with minor injuries.
Venegas was arrested on suspicion of felony drunk driving. He was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and DUI causing injury. His arraignment is postponed until Friday because Venegas is still in medical isolation.
Luquiz-Ortiz’s husband is a Marine who just returned from Afghanistan. The San Diego accident attorneys at Allen, Flatt, Ballidis and Leslie would like to offer out condolences for his loss.