Trucker Without a CDL Found Guilty of Murder and DUI in Deadly Crash
San Joaqin County, CA – A trucker who was operating without a valid commercial driver’s license (CDL) and under the influence of alcohol at the time of a deadly accident is facing life in prison after a California jury convicted him last week on multiple felony charges.
According to the San Joaqin County District Attorney’s Office, 55-year-old Mauricio Solorio Garcia, former owner of Stockton, CA-based Solorio Trucking, was found guilty of second-degree murder and driving under the influence (DUI) in the February 14, 2020, crash that claimed the life of 35-year-old Perry Douglas Burden.
The deadly incident unfolded at approximately 7:45 a.m. along State Route 4 between Stockton and Discovery Bay.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) investigators said Garcia was traveling westbound on SR4, operating a semi-truck pulling a flatbed trailer loaded with concrete blocks when he crossed the double yellow line and barreled into oncoming traffic along the two-lane roadway.
The big rig slammed into a Dodge SUV driven by Burden, which was also occupied by numerous members of Burden’s family.
CHP said the impact of the crash forced the Dodge SUV down an embankment and finally coming to rest in a field.
The tractor-trailer careened off of the SUV and sideswiped a Chrysler Town & Country minivan, driven by an adult male and occupied by three young children under the age of ten, including an 11-month-old.
Burden’s 11-year-old son was severely injured in the crash.
The 11-year-old boy was airlifted from the horrific scene and underwent emergency surgery that saved his life, while six others were transported to a nearby hospital by ambulance for treatment of moderate injuries, CHP said.
Garcia suffered only minor injuries and after seeking treatment was arrested on suspicion of DUI.
According to prosecutors, Garcia had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.17% at the time of the crash.
The federal legal BAC limit for commercial drivers is 0.04%.
Further, prosecutors said Garcia also had two prior misdemeanor convictions for DUI on his record.
The first occurred in 2005 and the second in 2008.
“There is no excuse for driving under the influence,” said District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. “The loss and trauma the Burden family suffered was completely preventable.”
Making matters even more egregious, Garcia did not have a valid driver’s license of any classification at the time of the crash.
According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Solorio Trucking was granted authority to operate on April 24, 2015, but it was later revoked on April 18, 2016.
Garcia is facing 15 years to life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2021.