Five-time convicted DUI offender charged in deadly hit-and-run

ORANGE, CA – A man from California with a history of five DUI convictions is now facing a murder charge after he allegedly struck and killed a pedestrian while driving under the influence of alcohol earlier this week.

The accused, 31-year-old Jonathan Lopez, was reportedly seen consuming alcohol and showing disrespect towards officers after leading them on a brief chase on Tuesday, following the fatal incident in Orange, California, a city in the Los Angeles area, as per the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The District Attorney of Orange County, Todd Spitzer, expressed his outrage in a statement, pointing out that an innocent life was lost because a man, who was not legally allowed to drive due to his extensive DUI history, chose to ignore all warnings about the fatal consequences of drunk driving. Spitzer emphasized that the accused’s actions demonstrate a complete lack of regard for human life and the law.

Spitzer further stated that even the threat of incarceration could not deter the accused from prioritizing his selfish actions over the safety of others on the road that day.

The vehicle involved in the fatal hit-and-run incident on Tuesday was reported to have significant damage to the front end. The district attorney’s office also revealed that Lopez, a resident of Orange, has a history of five DUI convictions dating back to 2011.

Lopez now faces serious charges including murder, hit-and-run resulting in permanent injury or death, reckless evading while driving, DUI with three or more prior convictions, driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or higher, and a misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license.

The victim of Tuesday’s incident has not been publicly identified. However, if found guilty of all charges, Lopez could face a maximum sentence of 18 years to life, according to prosecutors.

The Orange Police Department reported that the victim, an adult male, was found on Tuesday with severe injuries lying on the road. Witnesses stated that the man was crossing the street outside of a crosswalk when he was hit by a northbound gray sedan that subsequently fled the scene. The vehicle Lopez was allegedly driving, which was reported to have significant front-end damage, was found by detectives 10 minutes later.

The district attorney’s office reported that Lopez led police on a brief high-speed chase, running a red light and three stop signs before he was eventually apprehended.