Fatal Fresno DUI suspect inflicts damage on two families
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The accused drunk driver involved in a hit and run accident that killed a Clovis man last week, was also involved in another hit and run accident just a few months ago, and there's an eerie connection between the two accidents.
Frank Winslow, 54, died in Friday's crash. Investigators say the woman who caused the crash - never stopped after pushing his car over an embankment.
Action News has learned Frank Winslow's family knows one of the victims in July's crash.
Sarah Hutchinson had stopped by to visit a friend near Maple and Herndon in the early morning hours of July ninth. When she came out, a drunk driver had plowed into her Toyota Scion, and another parked car.
Police told Hutchinson a woman by the name of Perla Vasquez was responsible, a 24-year-old woman with two prior DUI's and a suspended license.
When Hutchinson's family learned their longtime friend Frank Winslow was killed on his way home from work last Friday, at the hands of an accused drunk driver by the name of Perla Vasquez, Sarah was incensed. She couldn't believe the same drunk driver that had slammed into her car was the same woman named in Friday's accident.
"She had no regard for the community, and I just don't have any sympathy for anyone like that," said Hutchinson. "I've known people who have had DUI's, and they're very remorseful, and they don't get into a car. They pay their fees, they go to the classes, and this woman didn't do it."
Perla Vasquez has been charged with felony DUI, felony hit and run, driving on a suspended license, and murder. Hutchinson says the murder charges are justified. But longtime Fresno defense attorney and former CHP officer James Wasson says murder charges in a DUI case are tough to prove.
Wasson said, "Unless we have witness to this accident, how do we know that the vehicle in front didn't change lanes abruptly, you see? Unless we know exactly how that accident happened, if I were on that case I would have my accident reconstruction specialist check everything."
Wasson says prior DUI charges or convictions do not necessarily warrant a murder charge, he says for the prosecution to prove it was murder they would have to prove there was reckless or what he calls egregious driving. A spokesman for the CHP says speed was not a factor in Friday's collision.
crimetracker, dui, accident, fresno, fresno county, fresno northeast, local, liz harrison
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