Nipomo man sentenced to 24 years to life for fatal DUI crash

April 26, 2024



A judge on Thursday sentenced a Nipomo man to 24 years to life in prison for driving under the influence of drugs and killing a 72-year-old Atascadero man. [Tribune]

On Aug. 6, 2021, Patrick W. McDuffee II, now 34, was driving a pickup truck southbound on San Luis Bay Drive in rural Avila Beach when he allegedly crossed into the northbound lane. McDuffee crashed head-on into a Mercedes van near Apple Orchard Lane. 

The driver of the van, Glenn Owens, died at the scene. The victim’s wife, Susan Owens, 65, suffered major injuries.

A CHP investigation determined McDuffee was driving under the influence of drugs.

Court records show McDuffee was convicted of driving under the influence in 2010 and 2016. He also pleaded down a 2009 DUI charge to reckless driving.

Under California law, a person with a past DUI conviction can be charged with murder if the individual drives under the influence again and someone dies as a result.

On March 8, McDuffee pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and driving under the influence causing injury. McDuffee received 15 years to life for the second-degree murder conviction and nine years for the DUI causing injury count.

McDuffee will have his driver’s license suspended for the rest of his life. 

During his sentencing hearing, McDuffee said he will always be sorry for what he did and that the wreckage he caused will haunt him for the rest of his life.

Multiple members of the Owens family, including Susan Owens, delivered statements, as well. Susan Owens said she has endured a physically and emotionally draining two and a half years since the death of her husband, and she has struggled daily with post traumatic stress.

There were times she wished she had not survived the crash, and she had to learn to walk and eat independently again, Susan Owens said.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

The soft on DUI courts should have taken McDufee off the road permanently in 2016 on his 3rd DUI offense and not have waited untill after he had commited vehicular homicide in 2021.

Absolutely! This man has been drinking and driving for the past fourteen years, since he was legally old enough to drink! Nowhere does this article mention that he did any time for his reckless behavior in the past. This tells me the courts think it’s OK to drink and drive as long as you don’t kill anyone. How sad. My deepest sympathy to Susan Owens and her family on their irreplaceable loss to this scumbag, along with the medical bills and pain and suffering he has caused you. Get a good lawyer!