For Immediate Release
Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)
The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced that a recent felony DUI case has resulted in a conviction and a lengthy prison sentence. Bernardo Ugalde-Torres was sentenced yesterday to 25 years in prison and must serve a minimum of 10 years before parole eligibility begins. Ugalde-Torres was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol on June, 2015 and having caused a major accident when he crashed his speeding vehicle into a motorcycle carrying a driver and passenger, who both sustained life threatening injuries.
On June 17, 2015 at approximately 1:30 am. the Nevada Highway patrol (NHP) responded to the scene of what was initially reported as a single vehicle rollover accident. The Reno Fire Department and REMSA also responded. When NHP troopers arrived, they determined that the crash involved a Hyundai Elantra driven by Ugalde-Torres and a motorcycle pulling a trailer driven by a 62 year old Ohio man with his wife as his passenger. The motorcycle driver sustained major injures, including a severed left leg, fractured right leg and multiple lacerations. His passenger also received significant injuries in the crash including multiple fractures of the leg, wrist and ribs. Ugalde-Torres received minor injuries and all three were transported to Renown Medical Center. Further investigation into the cause of the crash determined that Ugalde-Torres was under the influence of alcohol and traveling at a high rate of speed when he crashed into the motorcycle. Crash analysis by NHP showed Ugalde-Torres was traveling at a minimum speed of 90 MPH when he struck the victims. Based on this, Ugalde-Torres was arrested and this office filed formal criminal charges against him. Ugalde-Torres ultimately pled guilty and sentencing took place yesterday.
At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Zelalem Bogale argued Ugalde-Torres gave the victims a life sentence because the injuries he caused have permanently altered their way of life and stolen away their retirement years. To this day, DDA Bogale argued, the driver is still learning to walk on his prosthetic leg and the passenger, though mostly rehabilitated, continues to suffer from anxiety as a result of the trauma.