Home NEWS Police/Fire Fatal Crash On Highway 4 In Martinez Sunday Leads To DUI/Manslaughter Charges

Fatal Crash On Highway 4 In Martinez Sunday Leads To DUI/Manslaughter Charges

Videographer: Craig Cannon

A car with a woman and her two children aboard plunged off westbound Highway 4 west of Morello on Sunday, killing one child, critically injuring the other and sending the woman to a local hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The crash was reported at 12:01 a.m. with passersby scrambling to lend assistance, a Concord woman and others struggling to retrieve two injured toddlers from the wreckage. Both children were receiving life-saving measures when first responders arrived.

One was declared dead at the scene while the other was rushed to Children’s Hospital with critical injuries. The children’s mother reportedly had difficulty communicating with rescuers and was taken to a local hospital under escort by the California Highway Patrol.

Shakela Janey Dominick, 32, of Richmond was arrested following the crash. Investigators said her blood alcohol content was twice  the legal limit.

Dominick’s 5-year-old daughter, Dearri Shula of Richmond, died at the crash scene. Her second child, an 11-year-old boy, suffered serious injuries and had to be resuscitated by first responders.

California Highway Patrol officers said the boy suffered life-threatening injuries, and Dearri was not properly restrained in a child safety car seat.

Contra Costa County prosecutors charged Dominick with child abuse, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury. Her bond has been set at $400,000.

This morning (12/17/23) at 12:06am, CHP Contra Costa was advised of a solo vehicle traffic crash on westbound SR-4 near Morello Avenue. Our preliminary investigation indicates a grey Honda CR-V was occupied by one adult driver and two children and traveling westbound on SR-4. The driver lost control of the vehicle and the Honda left the roadway and collided with a tree.

The driver sustained moderate injuries and was transported to the hospital. An 11 year old passenger sustained major, life threatening injuries and was transported to the hospital. A 5 year old passenger sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

During the on scene investigation, it was determined the 5 year old was not properly restrained in child seat. Furthermore, officers arrived at the hospital to conduct a DUI investigation and the driver was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence and manslaughter.


  1. Caltrans spent millions installing metering lights that have never been used at the exit just past this incident but they won’t install guardrails to save lives along this portion of the freeway, pathetic!

      • Again, the determination that the driver was under the influence and the fact that she has been arrested, was made only recently and AFTER people responded to the information available at that hour.

      • Its crazy if you have been drinking or smoking weed, vaping and or edibles don’t drive. If she wasn’t driving this accident would not have happened

    • Guard rails or not she was drunk end of story! Two innocent children in the car one dead one one very much injured! She made a choice for them ! Those poor children and families! Luckily she didn’t kill any of our children or family 🙏

    • Why do they refuse to put guard rails on that area of the freeway. How many more people have to die there before something is done!!! It might help save a life and prevent someone going of that area to where the trees are. I have known a few people from years ago who went off that area of the freeway.

      • Why do people still drink and drive!! Why are so many people blaming the road. Cal trans etcetc instead of commenting on driving under the influence!! She killed her child and one is seriously injured and that’s the guardrails fault,!!

        • As locals who use these exits every day we do acknowledge she was driving under the influence and that right there is the beginning of the end. But AGAIN, as residents who live off these freeways, we have watched countless people die within a certain stretch of highway from morello to pine because there are no guardrails. Whether it be a blown out tire, road rage, weather, avoiding an animal, over correcting etc. a guard rail could have saved many lives!!! So yes she was drunk and driving but this story maybe didn’t have to be so devastating. Just maybe if there was a guard rail that 5 year old would be alive and the 11 year old not in the hospital with life threatening injuries!!!!!!

          If you’re not a local or a Martinez resident you wouldn’t understand why we are mentioning the guard rails.

  2. Are you people serious? Guardrails and barriers? How about car seats and not drinking and driving with you kids in the car? That alone would have prevented the accident and the death of the child and that’s the real issue here. She’s drinking and driving at 12 AM with her kids in the car and then doesn’t even have the five-year-old in a car seat properly buckled in. That’s the cause of the fatality not the fact that there’s no guardrails.

  3. Mom might came from a christmas party with her kids, went home with kids in the car and even forgot to buckle up the 5year old. Horrible decision!

  4. To all you “perfect” people Why not take a look in your own back yard instead of throwing rocks at a glass house…….

    • I’m far from perfect but I have a five year old, and NEVER have her in a car without a car seat! Not even for a minute, not even to go to the corner store or in a parking lot. Never! And I don’t drink, and if I did, it wouldn’t be when I have to drive somewhere and have my kids and no car seat. So like I said far from perfect but certain things are not negotiable such as my children’s life. So that includes anything that has to do with getting inside of a vehicle because you literally have their lives in your hand. So anything that I say isn’t said to judge others it’s things that are crucial and people need to take accountability and responsibility for their actions. Car seats save lives. Drinking impairs your judgment. People who know it’s not OK to drink and drive quickly forget that once they’re drunk.

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