A Fresno man, Francisco Antonio Portillo, 23, was sentenced to more than 19 years in state prison on Tuesday for causing a fatal crash while driving under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. The crash resulted in the deaths of three people and left five others injured.
The sentence was handed down by Judge Charles Lee of the Fresno County Superior Court after Portillo pled no contest to charges on Oct. 5, 2023.
The incident occurred on March 20, 2021, when Portillo, driving a black Chevy Camaro, attempted to evade a Fresno County Sheriff’s deputy who tried to stop him. Portillo accelerated to speeds of approximately 100 mph before running a red light at the intersection of Cedar Avenue and McKinley Avenue, causing a multi-vehicle collision.
Upon arrival, deputies found three vehicles fully engulfed in flames. The crash claimed the lives of Juan Montes Dominguez, Simranjit Kaur, and Navneet Kaur, while five others sustained substantial injuries.
Investigation by the Fresno Police Department revealed that Portillo was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana at the time of the crash. His blood alcohol count was .09%, and he tested positive for THC.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Steven Ueltzen prosecuted the case, which was part of the Alcohol and Drug Impaired Driver Vertical Prosecution Unit. The program is funded by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.