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Del Mar

October 21, 1987

After nearly 2 1/2 days of deliberations, a jury convicted a Bakersfield waiter Tuesday of gross vehicular manslaughter stemming from a fiery smash-up on Interstate 5 near Del Mar that left a young woman dead.

Dino Hernandez, 24, was also convicted of driving his car while under the influence of PCP, causing injury.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Patricia Cookson said Hernandez could receive a maximum state prison term of 10 years and eight months. Sentencing was set for Nov. 17 before San Diego Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Zumwalt.

Killed in the June 20 accident was Bonnie Cahill, 29, of Oceanside. Martha Mountain, Cathy Mountain, Emily Mountain, and Thomas Richards were injured.

Cahill's father, John Cahill, of Fallbrook, said he felt "relief" about the verdict.

"I have faith in the system and it worked. It's been very difficult," Cahill said.

Hernandez admitted in his testimony that he had smoked a marijuana cigarette while driving his car with his cousin as a passenger, but he denied being the driver.

Hernandez said he couldn't remember being in an accident and that he must have stopped and had the cousin, Joe Camarillo, take over the driving.

Cookson said authorities were unable to locate him.

Hernandez's attorney, Roger Spaulding, argued that Camarillo received chest injuries in the accident that could have been caused by his smashing against the bent steering wheel.

Hernandez conceded on the stand that he told one police officer that he was the driver after the collision but that he didn't remember telling two other officers the same thing.

Hernandez's only injury was a scratch on his right cheek, he said. He remains in County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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