Sacto 9-1-1
January 14, 2013
Wrong-way driver pleads no contest in fatal head-on crash

A Redwood City man has pleaded no contest to second-degree murder and gross vehicular manslaughter for his role in a Highway 50 crash last February that left three people dead and two others injured.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, Christopher Thomas Rigsby drove to South Lake Tahoe to watch the game with friends at Harvey's Casino. After several drinks, he drove back to Sacramento County early the following morning. He was first observed speeding westbound on Highway 50 near the Sunrise Boulevard exit. Minutes later, he was seen speeding eastbound in the westbound lanes of Highway 50.

Rigsby's vehicle collided head-on with a Pontiac Aztec at estimated speeds of 70 to 90 mph, according to a Sacramento County District Attorney's Office news release.

Three people in the Aztec died at the scene: Oliverio Lopez, 51, and Margarita Temblador de Lopez, 53, of Sacramento, and Francisca Temblador Raymundo, 58, of Mexico. A fourth person, Pedro Cornejo, 59, of Mexico, was critically injured, and the driver, Gustavo Sandoval-Gonzalez, 31, of Sacramento, suffered minor injuries.

Rigsby, whose blood alcohol registered at .21 percent more than two hours after the collision, had been previously convicted of driving under the influence in 2001, officials said.

Rigsby, 42, pleaded no contest to one count of second-degree murder, two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence causing great bodily injury.

He is to be sentenced Friday by Superior Court Judge Tami Bogert.

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