OCEANSIDE — A judge found enough evidence Nov. 13 to order a young Camp Pendleton Marine to stand trial on charges relating to a drunken driving accident in which he caused an Oceanside family’s SUV to roll after he allegedly collided with them at a high rate of speed.
San Diego Superior Court Judge William S. Dato bound over Hugo Chavarria, 21, on two counts of driving under the influence and a single count of hit and run, all the charges are felonies and carry the allegation that Chavarria’s actions caused injury to at least one of the victims.
Chavarria’s next scheduled court appearance is Dec 15. His trial is scheduled for Jan 6.
Several Marines who witnessed the accident testified that Chavarria appeared to be traveling more than 100 mph when his Mitsubishi Eclipse struck the family’s Chevy Suburban causing the SUV to lose control, bounce off of and then roll over the center median of Interstate 5 just north of Harbor Drive.
Iris Estrada said her family had only been on the freeway for a few minutes when she heard her husband say, “He’s going to hit me.” The next thing she said she remembered was her two young children and husband screaming as their SUV rolled. Estrada and her husband, who is also a Marine, testified they both received back and neck injuries from the incident, while their children, ages 1 and 2, are having trouble sleeping at night.
“It’s really hard being a mom and being normal,” Estrada said referring to her neck and back pain.
Following the collision, Cpl. Jacob Carrizosa testified he followed the defendant to a security gate at Camp Pendleton and alerted the guards of the incident as Chavarria tried to pass through.
CHP Officer Tom Ngo testified Chavarria was “too drunk to stand straight.” He said the defendant, who said he was speeding because he was afraid of getting back to the base late, said, “I know I was intoxicated.”
Ngo estimated Chavarria’s blood alcohol level to be more than .20.
Chavarria remains in custody in lieu of $150,000.