Berkeley Man Charged With Vehicular Manslaughter in Deadly Crash

Accident kills his girlfriend and puts her 6-year-old son in a coma

By Kellie Onaga
|  Wednesday, May 23, 2012  |  Updated 9:54 AM PDT
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Berkeley Man Charged With Vehicular Manslaughter

Here's another reason why drinking and driving and speeding do not mix.

A 24-year old Berkeley man is now facing several felony charges including gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, after getting into an accident Friday morning that killed his 22-year-old girlfriend and put her 6-year-old son in a coma.

Police said Jose Lumbreras had a blood alcohol count of .219 - that's two and a half times the legal limit of 0.08.  He's at Highland Hospital in Oakland.  His girlfriend, Milanca Lopez, was sitting in the front seat and not wearing a seat belt.  She died at the scene.

Lopez's son, Xavier, was wearing a seat belt in the back seat but was not in a booster.  He is in a coma on life support, according to police.

Officers said Lumbreras was driving about 64 mph northbound on California Street, a quiet residential street, around 1:15 a.m. when he hit a traffic circle at Allston Way.  The car went airborne and hit a tree about 20 yards on the opposite side of the circle.  Police said there were no skid marks indicating Lumbreras might have tried to slow down before hitting the curb.

An Alameda County district attorney said the one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated alone carries prison time of between four and 10 years on conviction.

 Lopez had a bright future ahead of her. She was getting ready to graduate from UC Berkeley with a degree is social welfare and had been accepted to graduate school at UCLA.

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