Redding Man Gets Life Sentence For DUI Fatality

A 37-year-old Redding man has been given a life sentence for a head-on collision that killed a woman on Highway 44. The crash happened on the afternoon of August 3rd, 2016 just west of South Cow Creek Road 4 miles east of Millville. Matthew Castaneda was passing cars but ran out of room and crashed head-on into a Mini Cooper occupied by two Shingletown women. The driver, 75-year-old Ellen Berblinger, has still not fully recovered from her injuries. Her passenger, 81-year-old Evelyn Blake, died of her injuries 10 days after the crash. Castaneda was hospitalized with moderate injuries. He had a blood-alcohol level of .11% more than two hours after the crash and admitted to recent use of methamphetamine, marijuana and prescription pain killers. In fact, he was apparently on his way to buy drugs at the time of the crash. When he got out of the hospital Castaneda vanished for 3 months and was on the run until district attorney investigators caught up with him. He has a prior conviction for alcohol-related reckless driving in 2008, and another for drunk driving in 2014. Castaneda pleaded guilty in January to charges including second degree murder, and he was sentenced last week to 15 years to life in prison.

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