|For Immediate Release
Case # 09NF0431
August 3, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRUNKEN DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING TWO PASSENGERS IN FREEWAY CRASH AFTER
VICTIM’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
FULLERTON – A driver under the influence of alcohol was convicted today of killing her two passengers by flipping her car in a freeway crash after celebrating one of the victim’s 30th birthday. Lynette Ann Hunt, 32, Fullerton, pleaded guilty to the court to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated, one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license, and sentencing enhancement allegations for causing great bodily injury and having a blood alcohol level of .15 percent. Hunt is expected to be sentenced to a court offer of six years in state prison at her sentencing on Sept. 21, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
On July 11, 2008, Hunt and two friends, 28-year-old Vanessa Herrada, Fullerton, and 30-year-old Maria Zamarripa, Fontana, were celebrating Zamarippa’s 30th birthday at California Girls Gentleman’s Club in Santa Ana. The three left the club in Hunt’s 1993 Honda sedan.
At approximately 6:35 p.m., Hunt, who was driving recklessly and weaving in and out of lanes on westbound State Route 91, hit her brakes and locked all four tires, causing the car to skid and the tires to smoke as she approached the East Street exit. She then accelerated and suddenly veered across several lanes of traffic. Hunt’s vehicle flipped down the freeway embankment, rolled over, and ejected Hunt and Zamarripa from the car.
California Highway Patrol officers responded to the crash and investigated the case and observed that Hunt emitted a strong odor of alcohol, slurred her speech, and had bloodshot and watery eyes. Approximately two hours after the crash, Hunt had a blood alcohol level of .15 percent, almost two times the legal limit.
Herrada was pronounced dead at the scene due to major head trauma. Zamarripa was transported to UCI Medical Center with severe internal injuries and died at the hospital shortly after the crash. Hunt suffered a broken clavicle and ribs.
Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.