La Jolla Fatal Crash
The scene of a 2020 double fatal crash in La Jolla. Courtesy OnScene.TV

A man who drove while intoxicated and crashed a car in La Jolla, killing two young passengers, was convicted Thursday of vehicular manslaughter.

Peter John Meno, 28, faces up to nine years in state prison when he is sentenced for the Nov. 22, 2020, crash that killed Jayden Rowley, 22, of Oceanside, and Matthew Cate, 19, of Vista.

Following about two days of deliberations, a San Diego jury acquitted Meno of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, but found him guilty of the lesser offense of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with ordinary negligence.

The jury also found an allegation true that Meno was driving at an unsafe speed, but did not return a true finding on allegations that he made an unsafe turn.

According to prosecutors, Meno’s blood alcohol level was measured at .08% a couple of hours after the 3:15 a.m. crash. At the time of the crash, he was driving on a suspended license due to prior tickets for speeding and running a red light.

As Meno turned onto Girard Avenue from Torrey Pines Road, his car jumped a curb and crashed into two trees, prosecutors said.

Deputy District Attorney Cally Bright alleged that Meno was driving up to 85 miles per hour prior to the crash. Meno’s defense attorney, Jodi Green, told jurors the car was going around 40 miles per hour when the crash occurred.

– City News Service


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Ellen Bullock