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Woman gets 15 years to life for DUI that killed her passenger

A 28-year-old California woman has received a sentence of 15 years to life in prison for a fatal car accident that happened in 2011. The charges were second-degree murder, vehicular manslaughter with intoxication and evading charges.

The accident happened on June 17, 2011 after 10:30 p.m. Police witnessed a car driving recklessly in East Palo Alto and attempted to make a traffic stop. The driver did not stop, and a pursuit began, during which the driver reached a speed of 80 mph and ran at least six stop signs, according to prosecutors. After about one and a half miles, the driver lost control of the car and crashed at an intersection. She and her passenger were both ejected from the vehicle. The passenger died at the scene.

At the time of the accident, the driver was already wanted for reckless driving. She was taken to Stanford University Hospital after the crash, and she was arrested three days later.

The trial lasted for nine days and ended on June 17, three years to the date of the fatal accident, when the jury found the woman guilty on all three charges after less than four hours of deliberation.

In the case of this accident, the charges against the driver have resulted in guilty verdicts; however, if representatives of the woman who was killed were to bring a civil case against the driver, the proceedings would be completely different. When fatal accidents result in civil lawsuits, the victim's family members might be able to seek compensation for the damages stemming from the incident.

Source: San Jose Mercury News, 'East Palo Alto woman who killed passenger in DUI crash gets 15 years," Bonnie Eslinger, Aug 23, 2014

Source: CBS, "East Palo Alto Woman Gets 15 Years To Life For Fatal 2011 DUI Crash", August 23, 2014

Source: CBS, "East Palo Alto Woman Gets 15 Years To Life For Fatal 2011 DUI Crash", August 23, 2014

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