Santa Maria man charged with murder over Nipomo crash that killed elderly woman

Edgar Saul Rojas Morales

San Luis Obispo County prosecutors charged a Santa Maria man with murder over a DUI crash in Nipomo that killed an 82-year-old woman. 

At about 10: 30 p.m. on Dec. 1, Edgar Saul Rojas Morales, 23, was driving north in the southbound lane of Thompson Avenue when he crashed head-on into a BMW driven by Maricela Marquez, 55, of Santa Maria. The crash killed Santa Maria woman Maria Medina, who was a passenger in Marquez’s car. Morales suffered major injuries in the crash, while Marquez emerged with minor injuries.

Morales was previously convicted of DUI, which makes him eligible to face a murder charge as a result of the deadly crash. A state law requires DUI offenders to agree that if they drive under the influence again and a person dies as a result of it, they may face a second-degree murder charge. 

Prosecutors have charged Morales with second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. Morales also faces enhancements for causing great bodily harm and driving with a suspended license. 

Morales faces 15 years to life in prison for the second-degree murder charge.