A Visalia man received a 24-year prison sentence last week for a DUI collision that killed a 58-year-old motorcyclist near Porterville.
Dominic Casarez, 24, had pleaded no contest in December to gross vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run in the death of Louis Munoz.
“Louis Munoz was loved by many and touched the lives of many, and his loss is felt each and every day,” said Tulare County senior deputy district attorney Noell Niayesh, who prosecuted the case.
The collision occurred at about 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 22, 2021, on Orange Belt Avenue near Avenue 112.
Casarez Fled, Had BAC of .19%
Based on evidence at the scene, California Highway Patrol investigators determined that Munoz was riding south while Casarez was traveling north in a 2008 Chevy sedan. Casarez drifted into the oncoming lane while negotiating a turn and crashed into the victim, they said.
Before he died later at a hospital, Munoz said that the Chevy crossed into his lane.
Casarez fled but was apprehended about 45 minutes later. According to court records, he admitted to driving the sedan and had injuries consistent with a vehicle collision. His blood-alcohol count was .19%.
Casarez has a 2021 prior strike conviction for shooting into an occupied dwelling and a 2021 misdemeanor DUI conviction in San Luis Obispo County.