Pennsylvania residents may be interested in the emerging details of a wrong-way crash that took the lives of six people. A 21-year-old woman is suspected of drunk driving and manslaughter following the head-on collision, which occurred on a California highway on Feb. 9. The woman has a previous DUI conviction.
According to witnesses, the woman was driving in a Camaro at up to 100 miles per hour in the wrong direction on State Route 60 near Los Angeles. Traveling east on the westbound side of the highway, the Camaro hit a Ford Explorer head-on. Two of the Explorer’s occupants died at the scene, as did two of the passengers in the Camaro. One of the fatally-injured Camaro passengers, a 24-year-old Rialto woman, was the driver’s sister.
A 42-year-old woman and 20-year-old woman, both passengers in the Explorer, were transported to a hospital with serious injuries. Both of the women were declared dead while at the hospital, bringing the death toll to six. The suspected at-fault driver broke her femur and suffered a ruptured bladder. She is reportedly in a hospital in stable condition. A third vehicle, a Ford Freestyle, crashed into the wreckage of the Camaro and the Explorer. The 57-year-old man who was driving it suffered minor injuries.
A California Highway Patrol officer said that the woman was pulled from the Camaro following the early morning wreck. At least one alcoholic beverage container was discovered among the wreckage, according to authorities.
The woman was convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010. Department of Motor Vehicle records indicates that her driver’s license was suspended and then reinstated in 2011. A neighbor of the woman expressed surprise at the circumstances of the car accident. He said that he rarely saw the woman drink alcohol and that she was not the type of girl who got into trouble.
The investigation is ongoing. If the woman is charged with and convicted of her second DUI offense or of vehicular manslaughter, she may be punished with jail time or face other serious penalties. A DUI defense attorney may be able to help a defendant by arguing for the exclusion of certain evidence at trial if the case presents grounds for such an argument.