On August 5, 2022, a truck with four Castle View High School students, all 17 years old, was struck head-on by Ricky Avalos-Trujillo. Two of the students were killed, and the surviving two students were both injured in the collision.
On July 14, 2023, Judge Theresa Slade imposed a 31-year sentence for the defendant after his conviction on multiple counts including Vehicular Homicide – DUI, Vehicular Assault – DUI, and Careless Driving.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Meghan Gallo and Deputy District Attorney Sherri Giger prosecuted the case on behalf of the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office. The defendant was found guilty following a jury trial in May 2023.
At the July 14, 2023 Sentencing Hearing, prosecutors requested the maximum possible sentence, which included consecutive prison sentences for two counts of Vehicular Homicide, one count of Vehicular Assault, and a consecutive jail sentence for the charge of Careless Driving.
The Judge ultimately imposed that maximum sentence for a total of 31 years.
“Every death is tragic, but to see two young lives lost and another gravely injured is heartbreaking,” said Gallo. “All of the devastation caused by this defendant’s choices was preventable if only the defendant, who knew first-hand the dangers of drunk driving, had not chosen to get behind the wheel.”
The investigation revealed that the defendant was speeding and driving in the wrong lane into oncoming traffic and was under the influence of both alcohol and marijuana at the time he was driving. The defendant was also serving a probation sentence for a DUI injury crash out of California at the time of this tragedy.
“He should have never been behind the wheel, and unfortunately, his victims and their families will have to live with the impacts of that decision for the rest of their lives,” said Deputy District Attorney Sherri Giger. “This is an individual who has proven he cannot safely be in our community, and we appreciate that the Judge’s sentence ensures that he won’t threaten the safety of other innocent drivers for years to come.
“Every death as a result of drunk driving is 100% preventable,” said District Attorney John Kellner. “We can never replace those loved ones that are lost, but my office is committed to holding dangerous drunk drivers accountable to the full extent of the law.”
Media Contact for this press release: Aurora Ogg, Director of Community Engagement ([email protected])