On May 16th in Rancho Penasquitos, an 18-year-old young man named Timothy Barnette was driving east on state Route 56 near Black Mountain Road in his 2002 sport utility Range Rover. At around 9:40 a.m. he veered across the center median and head-on into another car driving westbound. The other driver was identified as 22-year-old Nicholas Hart who’s 2010 Toyota Scion was unfortunately no match for the impact of Barnette’s car. Hart, who according to a relative had been driving to a family member’s funeral at the time the accident took place, was killed on impact. As a Poway High School Graduate and Cal State San Marcos student, the loss of Hart strikes the local community undoubtedly close to home.
According to California Highway Patrol, Timothy Barnette suffered serious injuries from the collision and was quickly hospitalized following the crash. Once released from the hospital, he was booked into jail Thursday afternoon on counts of driving under the influence of a controlled substance and suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter. Local authorities have yet to specify what type of drug Barnette was supposedly under the influence of when he crashed. CHP Officer Jake Sanchez commented earlier stating that investigators have reason to believe Barnette was driving while impaired by a substance other than alcohol. Barnette was held on $100,000 bail pending arraignment, which was scheduled for Friday morning.
Based on initial reports of this fatal accident, Barnette is very likely to be facing numerous severe penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance including enormous fines, mandatory license suspension, jail time, participation in programs for alcohol treatment, work projects, and/or community service. These penalties are standard for any and all individuals who are convicted of a DUI. However, Barnette’s case encompasses DUI charges along with the indisputable possibility of gross vehicular manslaughter. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, my law firm has handled numerous DUI and manslaughter cases throughout San Diego. If you or a loved one is ever arrested or has been arrested for a DUI or manslaughter crime, remember that the best way to protect your rights is to speak with and retain a reputable and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer. I take personal responsibility in my firm’s “commitment to excellence” in obtaining a favorable result on your case.