DUI crash survivor shares her story, set to take part in Walk Like MADD and Dash 2016

Posted at 5:03 PM, Sep 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-24 13:59:47-04

A Bakersfield woman is still recovering from a deadly DUI crash that happened seven years ago. 

Melissa Dominguez, her husband Alex, her daughter Sarah, son Alex and his best friend Johnny were heading home from Pismo beach on July 5, 2009. 

The five had spent most of the week at the beach celebrating the forth of July. 

They were driving down Highway 43 between Panama Lane and Stockdale Highway, not far from home.

"I remember everything about that day," said Dominguez. "We packed up and we headed out, nothing was different. Everything was normal and it was just, it was good."

Driving in the opposite direction was Pedro Munoz with his wife, two young children and a teenager. Munoz was drunk and speeding. 

A California Highway Patrol officer spotted Munoz and attempted to pull him over, but he took off. 

Munoz tried to pass a vehicle, but couldn't. As he tried to get back into his lane he lost control, swerved into oncoming traffic and hit Dominguez and her family head on. 

"I remember the smell of the engine and the smell of the firemen's leathers as they were next to me," said Dominguez. 

Dominguez's family and her son's best friend were all injured and taken to local hospitals. Dominguez had to be airlifted. Unfortunately, those in Munoz's car weren't as lucky. 

Munoz's wife, Lilliana Edith Ulloa-Gutierez, 24, his 5-year-old daughter and his 7-year-old son were all killed. Munoz and a teenager in the vehicle were also injured, but survived. 

Dominguez was taken to Kern Medical with extensive injuries including a cracked C2 in her neck, a compression fracture of her spine, her face was crushed, her palate was crushed from the bottom of her nose to the back of her throat, and her right foot was crushed. 

In total, seven people were injured and three people died that day. 

Munoz, who had been arrested for DUI two years prior to the crash was arrested for felony DUI and three counts of vehicular manslaughter. 

He served three years in prison and has since been released. 

It took months before Dominguez was able to do things on her own again, and sever years later, she said she still can't do all the things that she used to do. 

"He will forever be my drunk driver and I just think that it's going to happen again," said Dominguez.

Today Dominguez said today her family is doing great, she and her husband Alex as doing well. Sarah graduated from Centennial High School and is currently studying at Bakersfield College, Alex is studying at California State University, Bakersfield and Johnny is recently married and living in Bakersfield.

On Saturday Dominguez will be one of hundreds who take part in the "Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash" at Riverwalk Park as they call for an end to drunk driving in Kern County. 

Registration begins at 6:30 a.m., the ceremony begins at 7:30 a.m. For more information click here.