Shandon man gets 7 years in prison for fatal Hwy. 46 crash

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comSeptember 25, 2013 

Vicente Muniz Montes, 38, of Shandon was arrested Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, on suspicion of vehicular manslaughter without gross negligence, felony DUI, fatal hit-and-run, driving with a suspended license and failure to appear before court (after a previous DUI arrest). Original story »

A Shandon man will receive a 7-year prison term for a drunken driving accident that killed a Bakersfield couple last month.

Vicente Muniz Montes, 38, entered no contest pleas Wednesday to three charges, including two counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one charge of hit-and-run involving a death.

On Aug. 17, Montes was driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee on Highway 46 East near Shandon when he collided head-on with a Nissan Versa. Both people in the Nissan — Charles Massara, 69, and his wife, Irene Massara, 68 — died as a result of injuries suffered in the crash.

Montes and his passenger, Florencio Ochoa Rojas, 27, walked away from the crash and were later arrested at a friend’s residence.

Rojas was not charged with any offense.

When police interviewed Montes, they said he smelled of alcohol, had watery eyes and spoke slowly. A Breathalyzer test given nearly four hours after the crash indicated Montes had a blood alcohol level of 0.048 percent. (The legal limit is 0.08 percent.)

Montes told police he fled the scene because he didn’t have insurance, a driver’s license or vehicle registration. He also said he had four cans of Tecate beer over a three-hour span and that his vision became blurred as he prepared to make a turn on 46.

In a previous DUI case, from January, he had been driving 100 mph with a blood alcohol level of 0.12 percent. He pleaded no contest to that charge last month.

As a condition of his new guilty plea, Montes will receive the 7-year prison term.

He will be formally sentenced Oct. 28.

The Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service