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Driver charged with murder for crash that killed 2 near Orcutt

Posted at 10:37 AM, Jun 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-25 22:13:32-04

Murder charges were filed Tuesday against the Santa Maria man prosecutors say was driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol at the time of a deadly crash near Orcutt earlier this year.

The two charges and special allegations against Gil Pena were announced during a bail review hearing Tuesday morning in Santa Maria in connection with the early-morning Feb. 7 crash on Highway 135 near Union Valley Parkway.

Officers say Pena, 56, crashed the big rig he was driving into the back of a vehicle near the intersection, killing Rickie Motley, 60, of Orcutt and Jesse Donald Gluyas, 24, of Solvang.

A total of six vehicles were involved in the crash that closed a section of the highway for hours.

Pena posted $100,000 bail following the crash but was taken back into custody Tuesday morning.

Prosecutors claim video surveillance showed Pena had been drinking alcohol and taking pills when he blew through the stoplight at Highway 135 causing the crash.

While CHP after the crash said they believed Pena was driving under the influence, DUI charges were not filed against him. When asked why by KSBY News, the DA’s Office would not elaborate.

Pena pleaded not guilty and denied the special allegations. He is due back in court next month.

Bail was set at $2 million.

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by Motely’s family, naming Pena and Sysco Corporation as defendants. A case management conference has been set for September.

Gilbert Pena

CHP: Driver in deadly Orcutt crash was under influence of drugs and alcohol
2 killed in Orcutt crash identified
Family of Orcutt crash victim files lawsuit