DUI driver pleads guilty to causing fatal crash

Posted at 3:50 PM, Feb 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-03 18:50:52-05

SAN DIEGO - A man who drove drunk and swerved into oncoming traffic on Carmel Valley Road, causing a crash that killed a woman in another car, pleaded guilty Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury.

Anthony Perez Rodriguez, 30, faces up to 10 years in prison when he is sentenced March 4 for the death of Enid Mayer-Sheaf of Chula Vista. Rodriguez pleaded guilty on the day his trial was to begin.

The 61-year-old victim was returning from a hospital where her mother-in-law had just died when the crash occurred about 6:30 p.m. last July 22 near Camino del Sur.

A friend of the defendant testified in November that they took the Uber ride-hailing service to the Padres game from his home in Pacific Beach in anticipation of drinking to celebrate Rodriguez's 30th birthday.

Orlando Castro said he and Rodriguez had three or four beers at the game, then had a beer and a shot of tequila at a nearby bar after the game as they waited for a return Uber trip back to Castro's home.

"We were both intoxicated," Castro testified.

Castro said that after Uber dropped them off in Pacific Beach, he got some pizza, came home and passed out on the couch. The witness said Rodriguez wasn't there when he woke up a few hours later, noting that the last time he saw Rodriguez, the defendant was in no shape to drive.

District Attorney Investigator Michael Edwards testified that according to the event data recorder on the defendant's Fiat 500, Rodriguez was traveling eastbound at 51-52 mph -- faster than the victim's Chevrolet Nova -- when it veered left into oncoming traffic and smashed into her sedan near the bicycle lane.

Mayer-Sheaf died at the scene.

Rodriguez's blood-alcohol level was measured at .16 percent two hours after the crash. That would have meant his BAC was between .18 and .20 percent at the time of the crash, said Deputy District Attorney Lauren Ogata.

The defendant would have consumed nine to 10 drinks to get to that level of intoxication, the prosecutor said.

Rodriguez drank that day despite knowing he was going to drive, Ogata said. The prosecutor said that after the crash, Rodriguez blamed the victim, saying she came into his lane of traffic.