Stanley Franklin Spaeth Jr. of south Sacramento was killed Saturday night after a suspected drunken driver struck his motorcycle as he rode home from work– his second job, one that family members said he took to pay for his oldest daughter’s upcoming tuition – and sent his body hurtling through the air.
Officers arrested Rebecca Vela, a 33-year-old Sacramento woman, and booked her into the Sacramento County Main Jail on charges of murder, driving under the influence, and hit and run, according to Elk Grove police. If convicted, court records show it will be Vela’s fourth drunken driving offense since 1994.
The accident occurred about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, as Spaeth was northbound on East Stockton Boulevard, said Elk Grove Police Officer Chris Trim. Vela, driving alone in her 1997 Acura TL, was northbound on the same street at a “high rate of speed” and rear-ended Spaeth’s motorcycle, Trim said.
Spaeth was thrown from his motorcycle and suffered fatal injuries. He was 54.
“He was killed instantly,” Schulzke said. “He had no opportunity to react defensively.”
Trim said officers initially booked Vela on suspicion of murder and drunken driving, but the District Attorney’s Office added the hit-and-run charge because she was “actively trying to leave” when officers arrived at the scene.
Spaeth leaves behind his wife, Denise, and two daughters, ages 19 and 14. He worked days for a security company and nights as a security guard.
Family members described him as a “true blue, everyman American,” a man with limited formal education but unlimited love and work ethic.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, drunken driving is an offense that tends to be repeated. About one-third of DUI arrests nationwide involve repeat offenders, said Silas Miers, program coordinator for MADD’s California division.
He said there are no data available for how many repeat offenders are responsible for fatalities. But recidivism is so common, he said, that MADD is backing an Assembly bill that would initiate an “ignition interlock” program in California.
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.