Death and Trial

The accident that killed Julie occurred at 1:50a on Monday, September 3rd, 1990. Her car, driven by her fiance Kevin, was struck from behind by a drunk driver which caused their car to lose control and hit a tree in a ravine on the 22 Freeway in Garden Grove, CA. Neither Julie nor Kevin were wearing seat belts. The driver that caused the accident attempted to flee the scene but was stopped by Brian Simurda who witnessed the accident and intercepted the drunk driver on an off-ramp. Kevin died at the scene of the accident. Julie never regained consciousness and died four days later at UCI Medical Center in Irvine.
Below is the LA times article published the day after the accident, before Julie died.
LA Times Article
Alberto Ochoa, the driver that killed Julie and Kevin, was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter. He received the maximum sentence. The judge indicated that he received more letters on behalf of Julie and Kevin than he had received for any case before. A representative from MADD was present at all of the trial hearings and was instrumental in supporing the families through the trial process.
A number of the members of the Ochoa family offered apologies to our families for Julie and Kevin’s deaths.
The case of People vs Alberto Ochoa was appealed successfully and then overturned (the trial case was upheld) by the California Supreme Court. At issue was the admission of the evidence of Ochoa’s previous conviction for drunk driving which was used by the court to demonstrate prior knowledge of the consequences of drunk driving to show gross negligence.
You can read details about the case, including details about the accident, from the records of the California Supreme Court from the links below.
People vs Ochoa on Stanford Law 
People vs Ochoa on

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