A 45-year-old Santa Ana man has been arrested for second-degree murder and felony hit and run for allegedly driving drunk and killing a pedestrian crossing MacArthur Boulevard Wednesday night without stopping to check on her.
Dallas Frank Reichstein III is facing a potential murder count because he has a prior DUI conviction, according to the Santa Ana Police Department. Prosecutors have explained in similar cases that people convicted of driving under the influence sign release forms acknowledging they can be charged with murder if they are found responsible for a death caused by DUI. The unidentified pedestrian was crossing north to south mid-block and outside of crosswalks in the area of 1100 W. MacArthur Blvd. around 10:10 p.m. Wednesday when she was clipped by a 2002 Nissan Xterra driven by a man heading west on MacArthur, according to Santa Ana Police.
Responding paramedics pronounced the woman dead at the scene.
Witnesses told police about the Nissan driving at excessive speeds when the pedestrian was hit, leading cops to stop a 2002 Xterra moments later in a nearby residential area. The driver, later identified as Reichstein, "displayed symptoms consistent with driving under the influence of alcohol," according to police, who booked him into Santa Ana Jail.
Anyone who may have witnessed the collision or has additional information is asked to call SAPD Investigator Bao at 714.245.8214.
Meanwhile, the Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) announced Thursday afternoon that serious charges have been filed against a suspected drunken driver tied to a rollover crash that killed a passenger in Irvine.
Colin Michael Selsted, 27, of Irvine, pleaded not guilty Thursday to one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and sentencing enhancement allegations for driving with a blood alcohol level of .15 percent or more, and inflicting great bodily injury. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in state prison.
Selsted began drinking with friends at a restaurant around 3 p.m. Monday before the party (and more drinking) moved to the home of someone in the group. Later in the evening, Selsted drove off in his Volkswagen Golf GTI with 23-year-old Devon Williams of Newport Beach in the passenger seat.
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Just before 11 p.m., Selsted allegedly lost control of the VW, which spun out on Shady Canyon Drive, just east of Cloverfield, and rolled over multiple times down a hill before coming to a stop by hitting a concrete block wall. A resident living near the site of the crash called 9-1-1.
Williams and Selsted were taken by emergency personnel to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where the passenger was treated for a severe skull fracture. She was declared brain dead around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday and deceased hours after that.
The OCDA accuses Selsted of having a blood alcohol concentration of .17 percent two hours after the rollover. He had been held on $100,000 bail before the arraignment hearing in Newport Beach, and he's due back there for a pre-trial hearing on Feb. 20.