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Watsonville man pleads no contest to charges connected to deadly DUI crash


WATSONVILLE, Calif. (KION) A Watsonville resident has entered a plea to charges related to a crash that killed two people, according to the Monterey County District Attorney's Office.

The DA's Office said 22-year-old Joel Gonzalez pleaded no contest to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury.

The crash happened shortly after 10 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2020. The DA's Office said Gonzalez was heading south on San Miguel Canyon Road in a Chevy Silverado and tried to pass a line of five cars driving in front of him.

Gonzalez was not able to safely pass the vehicles and crashed head-on into a Nissan Versa heading in the other direction. The two people in the Nissan, 53-year-old Hiedi Jo Debellotte and 58-year-old Kristen Debellotte, died at the scene. Gonzalez and four people in his vehicle had minor injuries.

When officers with the California Highway Patrol arrived, they noticed that Gonzalez appeared to be intoxicated. When he took a breath test, he reportedly had a blood alcohol concentration of .13, which is above the legal limit of .08.

Gonzalez is facing up to 12 years and 4 months in prison when he is sentenced in September.

Avery Johnson

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


1 Comment

  1. Enjoy your jail time. I know it is always the sober version that pay the price for their drunken personas, but that is the way it has to be. I can’t judge and I am not an Angel but I also know the price for killing someone while drunk is something you can never undo and must live with for the rest of the their life. You know who else I wish could live for the rest of their lives? The people he killed.

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