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DA: Redding man sentenced for deadly DUI crash

A Redding man has been sentenced for second-degree murder for a deadly DUI crash that happened near Whiskeytown, according to the Shasta County District Attorney's Office.

Posted: May 19, 2021 3:15 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2021 10:42 AM

UPDATED 12:10 p.m. Saturday, June 19, 2021 - Hawk Blaze Bergstrom was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison on Friday for second-degree murder.

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WHISKEYTOWN, Calif. – A Shasta County jury found a man guilty of second-degree murder for a 2020 DUI car crash that killed a woman on Highway 299, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Hawk Blaze Bergstrom faces 15-years-to-life in state prison for the collision, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

On Jan. 29, 2020, a driver identified as Diana Schalk was driving west on Highway 299 near Grizzly Gulch Road when Bergstrom crossed the double-yellow center line and drove east into Schalk’s lane, causing a head-on collision.

Schalk was flown to Mercy Medical Center but died due to her injuries.

CHP officers on scene contacted Bergstrom, they said he showed signs of impairment, and a preliminary alcohol screening test showed Bergstorm’s blood alcohol content as .254% and .255%.

Bergstrom was transported to Shasta Regional Medical Center for a blood alcohol test that showed his blood alcohol concentration as .221%, according to the DA’s office.

Prior to this crash, the DA’s Office said Bergstrom was convicted of a DUI on Aug. 20, 2015, in Trinity County where he was informed: “to drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and, as a result of that driving, someone is killed, you can be charged with murder.”

As part of the terms of Bergstrom’s probation, he successfully completed a 3-month DUI program on Feb. 4, 2017, at Cascade Circle. As part of the program, Bergstrom initialed a form indicating that “California law allows for someone to be prosecuted for murder if they drive while intoxicated and cause an accident that kills another person.”

Additionally, a review of Bergstrom’s California Driver’s License Application from 2008 shows that he was advised that “If I drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or both, and as a result, a person is killed, I can be charged with murder.” Bergstrom signed the form acknowledging that he read and understood the information.

Bergstrom’s sentencing is scheduled for June 18, 2021, at 9 a.m. at the Shasta County Superior Court. 

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