1 Year Later, Unlicensed Teen Driver Charged with Manslaughter


Photo courtesy of: ocregister.com

Bradley Morales, the unlicensed teen driver of a car that was involved in a deadly crash in Irvine killing 5 last year, has been recently charged with manslaughter by Orange County District Attorney, according to ABC 7 News.

The crash happened on the southbound 5 freeway between Sand Canyon Avenue and Alton Parkway around 2:15 a.m. on Oct. 4, 2014. Morales was driving home with 5 other teen passengers from Knott’s Scary Farm when their car drifted off the road, hit the guardrail and burst into flames with all five teens inside, according to ABC 7 News.

“Morales was the only survivor of the crash. He was thrown out of the car before if had caught fire and was found alive. He was sent to the hospital and underwent surgery for a large scull fracture,” said hospital officials shortly after the crash. “The fire caused a brushfire,” ABC stated.

Matthew Melo,15,  Alex Sotelo,14,  Brandon Moreno,14,  Jenny Campos,15, and Jenny Bahena,15,  were the five victims of this deadly crash.

At the age of 16, Morales was booked into the Orange County Juvenile Detention Center. He was charged with five felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, driving a motor vehicle without a driver’s license and failure to show proof of financial responsibility, reported ABC 7.

According to OC Register, ever since the fiery crash on Oct. 14th. 2014, authorities have been weighing whether to press charges against Morales, now 17, the lone survivor of the crash.

“Our investigators took a great deal of time and painstakingly went over this case to ensure a thorough and comprehensive investigation was complete,” Capt. R. Shackleford of the California Highway Patrol said, according to ABC News.

“Tragedy shook the community, and several memorials were held by the families, friends, and teammates of the victims. Sotelo, Melo, and Moreno played together on a club soccer team.”stated OC Register.