A drunken driver who caused a Desert Hot Springs crash that killed one of his passengers and injured several other people pleaded guilty to a DUI gross vehicular manslaughter charge Friday and was immediately sentenced to a dozen years in state prison.
Brandon Byars, 24, of Palm Desert, was driving a minivan that slammed into another car at 8:20 p.m., Sept. 28, 2017, at the intersection of Ironwood and La Mesa drives.
Jesus Moreno, 22, of Desert Hot Springs, a passenger in Byars’ minivan, died at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs five days after the crash.
A woman in the minivan also was hospitalized with moderate injuries, according to Desert Hot Springs Sgt. Corinn Lindsey. Additionally, a man, a 13- year-old girl and 9-year-old boy suffered minor injuries.
Byars was taken into custody at the crash scene.
In addition to the manslaughter count, which drew a six-year sentence, Byars also pleaded guilty Friday to two sentence-enhancing allegations of causing injuries, each of which drew three-year sentences.