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Driver pleads no contest to crash that killed girlfriend
June 27, 2014, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Paul Diaz

The driver accused of causing a 2013 Colma crash that killed three passengers, including his girlfriend, before fleeing the scene changed his mind on a deal the second day of trial and pleaded no contest to three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, drunk driving and hit-and-run.

Paul Michael Anthony Diaz, 26, of Daly City is looking at a sentence between 15 years and 20 years in prison for the May 27, 2013, crash that killed Ruvin Abel Vazquez, 22, Jonathan Jade Mouton, 21, and Rosa Maria Falla, 23, all of Daly City. Falla and Diaz were dating.

Diaz settled his case as his jury trial began with motions and jury selection. He remains in custody on $1 million bail pending his Aug. 6 sentencing hearing.

Defense attorney Savas Loukedis did not respond to an inquiry about his client’s decision to settle the case.

Prosecutors say on May 27 Diaz was speeding in his Mustang on Hillside Boulevard near the Cypress Lawn Funeral Home at 90-plus mph when he crashed into the back of a Honda, pushing it into a cemetery while he lost control and smashed into a retaining wall. The Mustang split in two, ejecting the three passengers. Diaz allegedly approached Falla’s body after the crash before running away. The Honda’s driver was not seriously injured.

He surrendered to Daly City police about five hours later which left authorities determining his blood alcohol level based on a scientific formula.

Prosecutors originally looked at increasing the charges against Diaz to murder but opted against doing so after weighing factors like his driving record and the short amount of time he was driving before he lost control. Diaz has a prior misdemeanor drunk driving conviction.

michelle@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

 

 

Tags: driving, before, three, crash,


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