CHP finds extreme DUI in Avila crash that killed two

Report: Driver’s blood-alcohol level was three times legal limit after night of drinking

nwilson@thetribunenews.comJune 22, 2011 

The driver of a car that crashed Friday in Avila Beach, killing two passengers, had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal driving limit, a CHP report states.

Evan Green, 21, pleaded not guilty in San Luis Obispo Superior Court on Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, and driving without a license.

Green was behind the wheel of a 2004 Saturn that rolled several times on Avila Beach Drive about 2 a.m., killing Marcus Alex Nelson, 21, of Castro Valley and Aaron Beaver, 21, of Eureka.

Green posted $150,000 in bail Tuesday night and appeared at his arraignment Wednesday with his arm in a sling because of injuries he suffered in the wreck.

“These were his best friends,” said Green’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, after the hearing. “It’s a very emotionally complex period in this man’s young life, and he plans on attending both funerals. At this juncture, it’s more about mourning than about guilt or innocence.”

Green told the CHP that he was driving home to a residence his parents owned in Avila Beach.

Beaver, Nelson and 21-year-old Jacob Zimmer of Castro Valley were in the car with Green. Zimmer suffered major injuries in the crash.

Officers conducted two preliminary tests on Green that showed blood-alcohol levels of 0.245 and 0.232 percent. California’s legal limit for driving is 0.08 percent.

Zimmer told officers that he was unsure if Green was driving too fast, but “it was definitely freeway speeds or a little more,” the report states.

Green told the CHP he was driving about the posted speed limit of 45 mph, according to the report.

Surveillance video shows the friends consumed two pitchers of Bud Light at Woodstock’s Pizza in San Luis Obispo, where they also had a pizza.

Videos also showed the group drinking beer and shots of hard liquor at Mo-Tav and more shots at The Library next door.

A bar manager at The Library identified Beaver from a photo, saying she gave him water because he appeared very drunk.

Nelson vomited into a bar glass at The Library and was escorted out by security before the four friends left to return to Avila Beach, the report states.

When officers arrived at the scene of the crash, Green said he was the “designated driver,” and “I’m not intoxicated, so don’t worry about me,” and that they should help his friends trapped in the car.

The report states he also yelled “Beaver” and “Marcus” repeatedly when his friends were still stuck. Beaver and Nelson were pronounced dead at the scene.

Green had been arrested at age 17 on suspicion of a DUI and public intoxication for being under the influence of drugs in Alameda County. He also was cited for being a minor in possession of alcohol in 2009 in Butte County.

He received training on the dangers of drinking and driving “on at least three separate occasions” before the crash Friday, the report states.

Green is due back in Judge Jacquelyn Duffy’s court July 11 for a pre-preliminary hearing.

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