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Driver faces murder sentencing for DUI crash that killed a King City woman

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SALINAS, Calif. (KION) A Ventura County man is facing murder sentencing as a result of a DUI crash that killed a King City woman, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

Investigators said the man, 40-year-old Kyle Anthony Griffith, was driving west on State Route 198 east of Pine Valley Road with a friend on Nov. 3, 2019. At the same time, 42-year-old Atilano Garcia and his wife, 35-year-old Nazaria Garcia, were out for a drive on the same road heading east.

When Griffith's vehicle was about 30 yards away from the Garcias' vehicle, investigators said he crossed the double yellow lines and into the eastbound lane of traffic while trying to pass three vehicles.

The DA's Office said the maneuver resulted in a head-on crash with the Garcias' vehicle. The driver lost control and went off the road, and Griffith's vehicle rolled over.

Nazaria Garcia died of her injuries at the scene. Atilano Garcia survived, but had major blunt force trauma, a mangled arm and several lacerations. The passenger in Griffith's vehicle had a dislocated hip and lacerations to his face and arm, and Griffith had a broken toe, lacerations on his face and arms and a bruised chest.

Investigators determined that Griffith was driving with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.14%, well above the 0.08% limit.

During an interview, the DA's Office said Griffith admitted to drinking alcohol before driving and said that in the year and a half before the crash, there had been several times that he had drank enough that he could not remember how he got home.

At the time of the crash, Griffith was on misdemeanor DUI probation related to a 2014 conviction. One of the conditions of the probation is that he should not drink alcohol. He also had a misdemeanor DUI conviction in 2012.

Griffith is expected to be sentenced to 15 years to life in prison in December.

Crime / Monterey County / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.

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