Fresno man gets 10 years for fatal DUI street race crash

The Fresno BeeFebruary 18, 2014 

A Fresno man was sentenced to 10 years in state prison Tuesday for a DUI street racing crash two years ago that killed his friend and injured three others, including himself.

Jesus Miguel Corrales, 22, pleaded no contest last month to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for the March 1, 2012 crash in southwest Fresno.

The 1993 Camaro he was driving flipped and hit several fences and mailboxes. Robert Vasquez, 18, who was riding in the right rear seat and not wearing a seat belt, was thrown from the car and killed.

Marcos Estrada, one of the men injured in the crash, was the only person to speak at the sentencing Tuesday. He asked for leniency for his friend.

"He should get a second chance," Estrada said. "We all make mistakes; we are not perfect."

Before sentencing, Judge Jon Nick Kapetan said he is "often amazed at the compassion of victims' families."

But, he noted that Corrales was awaiting trial on a previous drug charge when the crash occurred.

His lawyer, Franz Criego, said Corrales and the other men in the car were all good friends.

"It was an accident, a mistake," Criego said. "My client is very remorseful for the action that led to the death of his friend."

Prosecutor Trevor Oppliger said the case was difficult because of the men's relationship.

"These cases are the toughest when you have friends and family involved," he said.

The California Highway Patrol said alcohol played a part in the crash that occurred near California and Hughes avenues. CHP officials said that stretch of California Avenue is known for street racing.

Corrales has to reimburse Vasquez's family for funeral costs. He also got credit for 1,440 days for time served in Fresno County Jail.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6166, mbenjamin@fresnobee.com or @beebenjamin on Twitter.

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