Drunk Driver Charged with Murder after Crash Kills Two People

December 8, 2007

Los Angeles: Two people were killed early this morning by a car being driven by a drunken motorist at an intersection in Hollywood.

At about 1:00 a.m., Jose Luis Vargas, 31, was driving a 1994 Acura Legend eastbound on Sunset Boulevard, when he ran a red light at Gower Street and crashed into the passenger side of a Honda Civic, instantly killing a female and male occupant. The couples’ names are being withheld until a family member has been notified.

At the time of the crash, the Civic was driving southbound on Gower Street, authorities said. The impact of the accident caused the Civic to be pushed sideways and collide with the front end of a 2008 Ford Escape that was already stopped on Sunset Boulevard. The driver of the Escape, escaped uninjured.

Investigators determined that Vargas was driving under the influence of alcohol and immediately arrested him. After being treated at a local hospital for minor injuries, Vargas was booked for murder. His bail was set at $1 million.

It is unclear how fast Vargas was driving at the time of the crash. The speed limit posted in the area is 35-MPH, police said.

"This is a very tragic accident that took the lives of two innocent people," said Officer April Harding. "It’s amazing how people continue to drink and drive with all of the public service announcements, statistics, and the severe penalties and punishment that are associated with drinking and driving."

Anyone with information regarding this accident, is asked to call West Traffic Division Officer Zachary Hutchings 213-473-0234. During off-hours or on weekends call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).