MARTINEZ, CA -- Gerardo Harquin admitted to the police he was totally at fault, causing the head-on collision, killing a Concord mother and her baby daughter. This was according to testimony given by a police officer on Tuesday.
Officer Kevin Mansourian, a Concord policeman, testified on day 2 of Harquin’s trial on murder charges. He was asked about the interview he conducted with the defendant several hours after the accident while he was in the emergency room of a local hospital. The officer said that the defendant told him he sensed his SUV was drifting towards the left as he bent over to adjust the volume on the radio. That was when he glanced up to find he was driving on the opposite side of Willow Pass Road and going “the wrong way,” describing the head-on collision with the Dodge Charger as imminent.
Harquin, 26, a Concord resident, is on trial for murder and vehicular manslaughter, along with DUI causing injury.
According to Officer Mansourian, Harquin agreed to turn himself in to the authorities upon being released from the hospital. Harquin is a repeat DUI offender and admitted that he had consumed three beers, one right after the other, about four hours prior to the June, 27, 2014 collision. However he denied that drinking played a role in the crash.
Mansourian testified, “Harquin felt the crash was caused because he leaned over to turn down the radio.”
Mansourian and Officer Blake Roberts, another Concord policeman, both testified on Tuesday that Harquin had red watery eyes and alcohol on his breath when he was being interviewed at the hospital. Kevin Halm, a Concord police detective, testified that he conducted an interview with Harquin’s stepson right at the crash site. Halm testified that the boy told him that he’d seen Harquin leaving for the store up to three times that same day, returning after each trip with three beers.
Rachel Piersig, the prosecutor asked Halm, “Did the stepson say he’d actually seen him consume all nine beers?” Halm replied, “Yes, that’s right.”
Earlier in the day, a woman who just happened to be at the scene of the crash, at the top of Kinne Bridge, said that she, with the help of her husband assisted three minor children, who were Harquin’s stepson, his stepdaughter and a teenage male friend, out of their SUV and onto a curb by the bridge’s railing, where they sat down and waited for first responders to arrive.
“The teenage stepdaughter was very upset,” the woman testified, saying “She said, ‘He’s totally drunk,” to the other boy. I asked, ‘Who are you talking about being drunk?” She replied, ‘My stepfather.’ “
While being cross-examined by Diana Garrido, the defense attorney, the woman admitted that she’d told an investigator last November that one of the boys had said, “He’s totally drunk.”
She went on to say, “Now that I’ve had time to process this, I remember that it was the girl who said this.”
Garrido then went on to ask, “Did you just remember this today?”
“That’s correct,” the woman replied.
When the woman’s husband was on the stand testifying he recounted that he rushed off to see who could be helped in the Dodge and then saw the driver, Lorena Dominguez, 23, who was unresponsive and resting her head on the steering wheel, with her baby daughter, Khloe Duenas, 21 months of age, strapped into her car seat in back, thrown to the side. Luis Duenas, Khloe’s father, had both legs broken and was trapped sitting in the front passenger seat.
Officer Brandon Richey, another Concord policeman who got to the scene just minutes after the accident, testified about the father, “He was yelling something like, ‘Save my daughter!’ “
If your loved one has been killed in an accident caused by someone else, you may have the right to seek a financial remedy. Find out what legal rights you have by consulting with a seasoned wrongful death attorney. When you speak with an experienced lawyer at O’Connor, Runckel & O’Malley, you will be speaking with a highly qualified lawyer who has worked with hundreds of other people who have experienced similar tragedies. You will be handled with the utmost respect and consideration and receive the kind of sympathy you deserve at this very difficult time.
Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP