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Man Faces Prison for Fatal Car Crash

A Van Nuys resident pleads guilty in a January DUI accident that killed a Thousand Oaks teenager.

August 14, 2003|From a Times Staff Writer

A San Fernando Valley man faces eight years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular manslaughter and drunk driving in the aftermath of a January crash that killed a Thousand Oaks teenager.

Carl Otto Hallbauer, 43, of Van Nuys was driving with James Ryan Delaney, 17, on Westlake Boulevard in Thousand Oaks during the early hours of Jan. 27 when he lost control of the teen's 1995 Chevrolet Camaro and hit a tree in the median. Hallbauer, a childhood friend of Delaney's father, had been visiting the boy's parents before the accident.

Delaney, a senior at St. Bonaventure High School in Ventura, was taken to Simi Valley Hospital with severe head injuries. He died two days later.

Hallbauer pleaded guilty Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court to one count of vehicular manslaughter and another of driving under the influence. Because the crash resulted in the teen's death, the charges included a special allegation that the crash caused great bodily injury.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Audry Nafziger, who prosecuted the case, said Hallbauer tested positive for cocaine after the accident and that his blood-alcohol level "was well over the normal limit" for intoxication. The legal limit is .08.

Hallbauer, who has been in jail since April 17, could receive up to eight years in prison when sentenced Oct. 17.

"This is another example of how people should not be behind the wheel when they've had drugs or alcohol," Nafziger said. Delaney's father "grew up with and trusted this man. [Hallbauer] had drug and alcohol problems. He took his kid out in the car and ultimately killed him."

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