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Marine faces manslaughter charges after fatal wreck

The trial for a drunk driver who caused a rollover accident earlier this year on a San Diego, California, freeway interchange, killing one and seriously injuring another, is set to begin. The accused is a Marine stationed at nearby Air Station Yuma, who was allegedly driving the car at unsafe speeds and under the influence of alcohol at the time of the single-car accident.

The young woman will face charges including gross vehicular manslaughter for her actions the night of the car accident. She was seen on surveillance video drinking at a popular San Diego nightclub just prior to crash, and after the wreck her blood alcohol content was measured at 0.12, well above the legal limit in California.

Apparently on the night of the accident, one of the passengers, a fellow Marine, attempted to take her keys, but she responded violently and proceeded to drive the car -- at one point with one of the doors open. Later, another passenger yelled at her twice to slow down, to no avail. Ultimately she attempted to take a tight turn at about 90 mph and flipped the car over, ejecting the two back seat passengers. One was killed, and the other suffered serious injury, including a broken back.

This is a sad story, but one that could have been avoided had the passengers refused to give the young woman the keys or get in the car with her. To make things worse, the backseat passengers were not wearing seatbelts, which might have protected them from such dire outcomes. In the end, it was the driver's fault, and she will likely have to pay the consequences. But this should serve as a cautionary tale to those who would consider driving drunk or riding in the car with a drunk driver under any circumstances.

Source:, "Yuma-based Marine Faces Gross Vehicular Manslaughter for San Diego Crash," June 27, 2012

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