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Police hold woman for felony DUI after fatal crash

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The California Highway Patrol says a 28-year-old woman was speeding on Interstate 5 near Disneyland around 12:45 a.m. Sunday. Law enforcement claims the woman was involved in a fatal accident and has taken the woman into custody on suspicion of felony DUI.

Police say the woman made an abrupt lane change between the Number 3 lane and the Number 4 lane when her GMC S-10 pickup struck the left rear corner of a 1995 Mercury Villager. The pickup truck reportedly careened off the roadway and ran head-on into a bridge abutment at Disneyland Drive. The pickup truck rolled over several times, rebounding back across the Santa Ana Freeway coming to a rest in the Number 1 lane, according to the CHP.

A 24-year-old woman in the Mercury Villager sustained injuries and was hospitalized. Police claim both people in the GMC pickup truck sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital. The 28-year-old male passenger in the GMC reportedly died at UC Irvine Medical Center at r 4:15 Sunday morning.

Law enforcement says they took the woman into custody at UC Irvine Medical Center as a result of the allegations surrounding the accident. Police reportedly believe the woman was driving under the influence at the time of the crash.

Any Santa Cruz DUI defense lawyer knows that allegations of DUI can be upgraded to felony charges based upon a number of different reasons. For instance, a person who law enforcement believes has caused a car accident involving injury to a person other than the accused can potentially face felony DUI charges, even with no prior DUI convictions. A felony DUI considerably increases the stakes if a person is convicted under California law.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Woman arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after pickup truck flips on 5 freeway, passenger killed," 18 Jul 2011

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