An Oroville driver who killed two young men on Highway 70 last November was in Butte County Superior Court Tuesday where he plead as charged to Vehicular Manslaughter While Intoxicated with two prior DUI convictions. Additionally, he admitted a special allegation of causing death to multiple victims and now faces a prison term of 16 years to life.
District Attorney Mike Ramsey said Marc Edward Andrews, 47, had been speeding west on Palermo Road approximately 5:30 p.m. on November 19, 2017, when he failed to stop at the stop sign located at Palermo Road and Highway 70. Andrew’s vehicle collided with a Toyota Echo traveling southbound on Highway 70 killing the driver, Mason Oakes, 20, and Ryan Jensen, 18,both of Yuba City.
Ramsey said a black box reader in Andrew’s car was downloaded and showed he had been traveling 101mph just 5 seconds prior to impact. At the moment of impact, Andrew’s vehicle was shown to be traveling at 55mph. Ramsey said Andrews blood alcohol level .31% -- almost four times the presumptive limit of .08%. Andrews only suffered a dislocated ankle and a small abrasion on his forehead in the crash.
Ramsey said Andrews had suffered two prior DUI convictions in 2014 and 2016 and was on active DUI probation at the time of this offense. Under the California law known as Courtney’s Law, Andrews faces life imprisonment because he was a repeat intoxicated driver.
Jensen and Oakes were cousins and had been traveling back to the Yuba City area after visiting a friend. Jensen had recently graduated from high school and was scheduled to begin college at BYU, Idaho in January 2018. His cousin, Oakes, had just returned from a two-year service mission for his church in Argentina.
Andrews will be sentenced on March 9, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. and he remains in custody without bail.