Man Sentenced for Ukiah Vehicular Manslaughter

Man Sentenced for Ukiah Vehicular Manslaughter

Man Sentenced for Ukiah Vehicular Manslaughter

I’m Ed Smith, a Ukiah wrongful death lawyer. According to information from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office, on Friday, October 20, 2017, a young man was given a prison sentence for committing vehicular manslaughter in the city of Ukiah.

The Collision

Justin Everett Phillips, a 20-year-old resident of nearby Willits, CA, was convicted by a jury of his peers in late August 2017 for crimes he committed during an auto accident that occurred in December 2015. Phillips left the scene of that collision, which resulted in serious bodily injury and death.

Reportedly, Phillips had engaged in a contest of speed with another driver. This race led Phillips to collide with an innocent bystander, leaving them with fatal injuries. After driving away from the scene of the accident, making the incident a case of hit-and-run, Phillips was found and pursued by officers. Phillips reportedly tried to escape arrest, committing various reckless driving maneuvers during the process.

Further details about the type of collision that led to the fatal injuries, as well as the identity of the deceased individuals, was not reported.

Additional Crime

Law enforcement officers also reported that Phillips had been convicted of another crime in September 2017. Phillips was charged with a felony count of recklessly evading a pursuing officer in November 2016.


The Mendocino County Superior Court sentenced Phillips to over 140 months (more than 11 years) in a state prison for charges related to the fatal accident including vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence, resisting arrest, hit-and-run, and more.


The agencies of law enforcement involved in investigating the crimes leading to the convictions described above included: The California Highway Patrol (CHP), the California Department of Justice Crime Labs in Redding and Eureka, the District Attorney’s investigator, and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Hit-and-Run Accidents

Hit-and-run collisions such as this one are a rising problem in the United States. However, unlike this incident, the errant driver is often not immediately apprehended by law enforcement. This can lead to injured individuals refusing proper medical attention because they don’t know how their medicals bills will be paid when there isn’t a driver to hold accountable for the accident.

Those injured in hit-and-run collisions should always accept medical attention. First and foremost, refusing medical attention can be dangerous and lead to secondary injuries. Your safety and health should be your number one priority. Secondly, refusing medical attention can lead courts and adjusters to think that your injuries weren’t serious, which can affect the value of your claim and prevent you from receiving the full compensation you are owed.

More Articles by Ed Smith, Ukiah Wrongful Death Lawyer

Ukiah Wrongful Death Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, an Ukiah wrongful death lawyer. Accidents can be extremely traumatic. If you or somebody you love has been killed or hurt in a crash, please call me at (707) 564-1900 for free, friendly advice. You can also reach me by dialing (800) 404-5400 or visiting my website,

Since 1982, I’ve helped Ukiah residents with personal injury and wrongful death cases obtain the full recompense they deserve.

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I’m in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a forum comprised of trial attorneys who’ve obtained settlements or verdicts worth over $1,000,000.

See our Past Settlements and Verdicts here. is the best site in Northern CA for up-to-date facts and current blogs about personal injury and vehicle collisions.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Golden Gavel 3 by walknboston. CC BY 2.0
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