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Costa Mesa driver gets 7 years in prison for fatal alcohol-related hit-and-run crash

SANTA ANA — A 51-year-old Costa Mesa man pleaded guilty Tuesday and was immediately sentenced to seven years in prison for a fatal hit-and-run collision in Costa Mesa nearly two years ago.

Bernardo Alvarez Zalpa admitted felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence, hit-and-run with permanent and serious injury, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and driving with a blood-alcohol level higher than .08% or more causing injury.

He also admitted sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene of a vehicular manslaughter and inflicting great bodily injury on the victim.

Zalpa was driving the evening of Dec. 4, 2018, south in the fast lane of the 55 Freeway, just north of Del Mar Avenue, when his 2002 Honda Accord veered across the freeway and crashed into a 2017 Mini Cooper just after 6 p.m., according to the California Highway Patrol. The Honda then crashed into a 1997 Toyota 4Runner. The 4Runner overturned, ejecting 48-year-old Jose Olguin of Orange, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Accord veered back onto the freeway before the driver exited at Victoria Street, where Costa Mesa police detained him until CHP officers arrived.

The driver of the Mini Cooper, a 41-year-old San Clemente man, escaped injury.

Source: Orange County Register

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