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    Man charged in suspected Tustin drunken driving crash that killed Laguna Hills woman
    • June 29, 2023

    A 25-year-old Santa Ana man was charged Wednesday with driving drunk and causing a crash that killed a woman in Tustin.

    Gerardo Joaquin Garcia Lopez was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury and driving under the influence with a blood-alcohol 0.08% or more causing injury. He also faces sentencing enhancements of inflicting great bodily injury on two victims.

    Lopez is accused of killing 67-year-old Rezvan Hekmat of Laguna Hills and injuring his passenger, Miguel Xum, according to court records.

    Tustin police were called about the crash about 5 p.m. June 4 at Barranca Parkway and Tustin Ranch Road, according to Tustin police Lt. Ryan Coe.

    Lopez had Xum and another woman in his vehicle. The other woman avoided injury, Coe said.

    Lopez allegedly ran a red light while going west on Barranca and slammed into the vehicle Hekmat was driving, causing both vehicles to bounce off other vehicles in the intersection, Coe said.

    Hekmat was taken to a hospital where she was later pronounced dead, Coe said.

    Lopez was hospitalized following the crash and was arrested when he was released, Coe said.

    The criminal complaint alleges Lopez had a blood-alcohol level of 0.41, more than five times the legal limit, and was driving faster than 65 mph.

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    ​ Orange County Register