An Oakdale man has pleaded no contest to killing a couple in a drunk driving collision on Orange Blossom Road in 2021.
The collision occurred the evening of May 18, 2021, when a southbound Chevrolet Silverado driven by Jesus Perez crossed into the northbound lane and crashed head-on with a Chevrolet Tahoe near Lancaster Road.
Perez was traveling approximately 20 mph over the speed limit and had a blood alcohol content of .156% at the time of the collision, almost twice the legal limit, according to a press release from the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.
The driver of the Tahoe, 78-year-old George John Pacheco of Oakdale, died at the scene. His wife and passenger, 66-year-old Sarah Pacheco, was taken to a hospital with major injuries and died 12 days later, according to the press release.
Perez and two of his passengers also were injured.
Perez showed obvious signs and symptoms of intoxication and was combative with first responders, according to the press release. He refused a chemical test and had to have his blood forcibly drawn pursuant to a warrant.
Perez, 25, was scheduled to go to trial earlier this month but instead took a plea agreement. He pleaded no contest to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood alcohol content over .08% causing injury to one of his passengers. He also admitted to enhancements for causing injuries to his other passenger and for refusing to take a chemical test and having a blood alcohol content of .15% or higher.
Perez was facing 16 years in prison for the charges but, pursuant to his plea agreement, is expected to be sentenced to seven years, according to his attorney Wilber Salgado. Perez had no prior criminal record.
Victim impact statements and sentencing are scheduled for June 12.