|For Immediate Release
March 19, 2009
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
DRUNKEN DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR KILLING TWO FRIENDS IN FREEWAY CRASH AFTER VICTIM’S BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
SANTA ANA – A driver under the influence of alcohol will be arraigned tomorrow for killing her two friends by flipping her car in a freeway crash after celebrating one of the victim’s 30th birthday. Lynette Ann Hunt, 31, Fullerton, is charged with two felony counts of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful act with gross negligence while intoxicated, one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with a blood alcohol level .08 percent or more causing bodily injury, and sentencing enhancement allegations for causing death to more than one victim and having a blood alcohol level of .15 percent. She faces a maximum sentence of 13 years in state prison if convicted. Hunt is out of custody on $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, March 20, 2009, at 9:00 a.m. in Department N-3, North Justice Center, Fullerton.
On July 11, 2008, Hunt and two friends, 27-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 friends left the club in Hunt’s 1993 Honda sedan.
Hunt is accused of driving recklessly and weaving in and out of lanes on westbound State Route 91. At approximately 6:35 p.m., she is accused of hitting her brakes and locking all four tires, causing the car to skid and the tires to smoke as she approached the East Street exit. She is accused of then accelerating and suddenly veering 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. Hunt is accused of emitting a strong odor of alcohol, slurring her speech, and having bloodshot and watery eyes. Approximately two hours after the crash, Hunt is accused of having a blood alcohol level of .15 percent.
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.