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Hit-and-run driver pleads guilty to death of San Diego student

Earlier this month a San Diego, California, court heard the guilty plea of a 19-year-old woman who turned herself in for her role in a car accident that caused the death of a 23-year-old University of California, San Diego engineering student.

The graduate student, who was killed on the night of March 11, was said to have been walking along the shoulder of Interstate 8 in Ocean Beach when the hit-and-run accident occurred. The next morning, upon hearing news reports of the death, the woman told her father she may have been responsible for the auto accident. After calling an attorney, the woman contacted patrol officers who interviewed the woman and inspected her car, which showed heavy damage to the front.

The woman claims she felt a bump, but thought the object she hit on the road was a discarded couch and did not stop to investigate as required by law. She also admitted to drinking and possessing alcohol in a public place prior to the accident.

The woman faces sentencing next month, where the judge has said he would "strongly consider" the possibility of probation or other alternatives to custody. This may be in part because of the woman's cooperation during the investigation.

However, the woman may still have to confront civil action for her negligent behavior and the part she played in the death of this young student. Although the report does not discuss the deceased's family, it is possible that those surviving the student's death will feel experience more than just an emotional loss. The family may be forced to deal with funeral expenses as well as the potential of lost wages. A wrongful death lawsuit cannot bring the victim back, but it can help ease the financial burden associated with his tragic loss.

Source:, "Woman Pleads Guilty to Crash That Killed UCSD Grad Student," June 11, 2012

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