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Suspect in deadly DUI crash that killed two people is sentenced to 8 years in prison

SALINAS, Calif. (KION-TV) -- A 22-year-old Watsonville man has been sentenced to eight years in state prison after pleading no contest to DUI charges related to a deadly crash in 2020.

The Monterey County D.A.'s office says Joel Gonzalez was traveling south on San Miguel Canyon Road on September 26 of last year.

Just after 10 p.m. the D.A. says Gonzalez attempted to pass a line of cars that were in front of him and, in doing so, crashed head-on into a Nissan Versa.

The occupants of the Nissan, later identified as Hiedi Jo Debellotte and Kristen Debellotte, were pronounced dead at the scene. Gonzalez and the four passengers in his vehicle at the time of the crash were uninjured.

CHP officers at the time said Gonzalez appears to be under the influence of alcohol and found he had a blood alcohol concentration of .13, which is above the legal limit of .08.

Gonzalez's no contest plea was to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury.

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Victor Guzman

Victor Guzman is the managing editor at KION News Channel 5/46.


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