Woman facing multiple charges in crash that killed her wife
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Woman facing multiple charges in crash that killed her wife

The wife of a Los Angeles Police Department officer is facing vehicular manslaughter charges for the officer's death in New Year's car crash. She also struck a car being used as an Uber, which was carrying a passenger.

Police say that the 25-year-old woman was driving drunk when she went through a red light at an intersection in Simi Valley shortly after 2 a.m., hitting the Uber. Her wife, who was in the front passenger seat, was fatally injured. The driver and passenger in the Uber were hurt, but survived their injuries.

The driver was released on bail. She recently appeared in Ventura County Superior Court, where her arraignment was continued until next month. She has been charged with felony vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and causing bodily injury. Police have not said what her blood alcohol content was at the time of the crash.

The 30-year-old LAPD officer, who was off-duty at the time of the crash, had been with the department since 2009. She was assigned to Northridge's Devonshire Division. She and her wife had been married for over two years, according to the LAPD.

If she is convicted, the driver could be sentenced to six years behind bars. In the meantime, she's not allowed to drive, possess alcohol, be in a bar or leave the state. She may be required to submit to random searches and tests.

Even when people do the smart thing and call an Uber on popular drinking nights like New Year's Eve, that's no guarantee of avoiding a crash, since not everyone does the same. When someone is injured or killed by a drunk driver, the evidence used against the driver in the criminal case may be used to help any civil action taken by victims and surviving family members against that driver.

Source: Ventura County Star, "Wife of officer killed in crash appears in court," Marjorie Hernandez, Feb. 17, 2017

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