Driver in creek crash faces criminal charges

Mozes Zarate

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Diego Arriaga Rodriguez

An arrest warrant is out for the driver involved in single car crash that that took the lives of two Chico State students.

The Butte County district attorney’s office filed criminal charges against 19-year-old Diego Arriaga Rodriguez Monday, said D.A. Mike Ramsey.

Arriaga Rodriguez faces multiple counts of:

– Driving and causing the death of Chico State students Austin Silver, 20, and Bryant Mata, 19.

Driving under influence and causing their death.

– A special count of causing great bodily injury.

He could serve up to nine years in prison if convicted, Ramsey said. The D.A.’s office will now wait for the defense attorney to make arrangements for Arriaga Rodriguez to turn himself into the court under the arrest warrant.

In April, the parents of Austin Silver filed a lawsuit against Arriaga Rodriguez and his father, seeking damages for funeral and burial costs and the emotional harm experienced as a result of his death.

Arriaga Rodriguez was previously recovering after being in a coma following the crash. His sister, Luz Maria Rodriguez, is currently representing her brother as a defendant in the lawsuit due to his medical condition.

Ramsey said they have been unable to reach Arriaga Rodriguez’s attorney and his condition is not clear. The charges were filed to jumpstart the criminal proceedings.

Mozes Zarate can be reached at [email protected] or @mozeszarate on Twitter.

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