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Surveillance video shows moments before deadly West Salinas crash, charges 16-year-old driver may face

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The general manager of Bag O' Crab, Omar Campos is showing surveillance video to show people the consequences of drinking and driving.

The video from the business that's near where the crash happens, allegedly shows the 16-year-old suspect getting into a BMW car, and driving off with a passenger. This eventually led to a crash on North Davis Road that killed a 33-year-old mother of three and injured a 44-year-old male driver inside a Dodge Journey, according to Salinas Police.

"I know it's just a horrific scene. I mean, like I've never seen I mean, like I said, I've seen accidents here before. I've seen many accidents here before and nothing like that," said Campos.

Campos was at work when the crash happened. A worker was in her car when she realized what had happened and ran into the restaurant to alert the people inside.

"There were the bumper was over here in this parking lot. And on the other side of the divider, there was more car parts, but the cars were unrecognizable. I mean, literally, I had to go to the back to kind of look what kind of what kind of cars that were driving because they weren't recognizable," said Campos.

Campos says it looked like the suspect was coming out of a nearby business, however, the Salinas Police Department was unable to confirm if the suspect was drinking at a nearby business. They did however say the 16-year-old driver was unlicensed.

"We haven't confirmed location or locations," said Brian Johnson, the Public Information Officer for The Salinas Police Department.

An attorney spoke to KION, they say a business would be in serious trouble if found responsible for serving alcohol to a minor.

“The alcohol beverage control could revoke their liquor license and from a civil law standpoint there is exposure to and responsibility for anything the young man did," said Esau Herrera, an attorney.

As for what consequences the suspects face, Herrera explains how the sentence could be light.

“If he gets charged with manslaughter, because he has no prior convictions, or because there is not immediate evidence of intent to murder the penalty maximum would be 22 years in prison as a youthful offender he could apply for a reduced sentence after serving 15 years," said Herrera.

The suspects and one surviving victim are still in the hospital as of Friday.

The victim in the crash, Maria Viurquez-Benavidez was a mother of three daughters, a student at Cal State Monterey Bay who was set to graduate in two semesters, and her loss will be forever heartbreaking to her family.

READ MORE HERE >>> Mother of three killed in West Salinas crash was set to graduate from college

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Dania Romero

Dania Romero is an reporter at KION News Channel 46.


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