Man gets 15 years to life for causing fatal crash near Paso Robles

December 20, 2013

jailA Bakersfield man received a prison sentence of 15 years to life for causing a fatal accident at a North County construction site while under the influence of prescription drugs. [Tribune]

On Nov. 7, 2012, Jerad Cross, 32, was driving a truck hauling two large containers at a construction site near Paso Robles when he crashed into a pickup truck, which was stopped behind a semi-truck. The collision killed Richard Gamez, 45, of Clovis.

Investigators determined that, at the time of the collision, Cross was high on prescription drugs that he snorted.

Prior to the fatal crash, Cross had five speeding tickets, three at-fault accidents and a DUI.

A San Luis Obispo jury convicted Cross second-degree murder, as well as of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving with a suspended license and possession of drug paraphernalia.


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From the Tribune article: “At trial, his attorney argued that he was not guilty of murder because he didn’t realize he was putting others at risk.” OMG; is there any reason so many have a low opinion of trial attorneys? Sure, if I ever get arrested and go to trial, I would want an attorney to pull out all the stops to defend me, but this man caused another person’s death by his actions. I don’t think the penalty is steep enough.

Probably a Public Defender.

Lawyers are the only persons in whom ignorance of the law is not punished.

intoxicated, driving with a suspended license

I’m wondering why the company he was working for / driving for isn’t be sued ?

All “for hire” employers are required to participate in the DMV “pull” program. They are notified immediately if there is any action (even a minor citation) on a driver’s license. Even “independent contractors”, that being drivers who own their own truck and hire out, are required to enroll themselves in the pull program. Unless I missed something, the article did not say that he was employed by a company. Assuming he was, the company can be held criminally liable for allowing him to drive….. and most certainly civilly liable.

The last time I checked, driving under the influence in a regulated vehicle requires a life time suspension of a commercial license.

CCN’s verbage could have been better. He was driving though a highway construction zone on 46.

Do I need to state that “snorting” Rx meds is not an pharmaceutically approved way of using

‘scrips? No, I didn’t think so.