|For Immediate Release
Case # 08HF1280
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Public Affairs Counsel
IMPAIRED DRIVER TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR
KILLING GRANDMOTHER IN CAR CRASH WHILE
DRIVING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD
NEWPORT BEACH – A woman will be arraigned tomorrow for killing a 70-year-old grandmother by crashing into her car while driving on the wrong side of the road. Betty Diaz, 37, Lake Forest, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful acts with gross negligence and faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison if convicted. The People will be requesting $100,000 bail. Diaz is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
On July 3, 2007, Diaz was driving in her Chevrolet Suburban in Irvine with her two children near Irvine Center Drive and the Irvine Spectrum Center. The defendant is accused of starting to feel sick due to a pre-existing medical condition as she drove southbound on Irvine Center Drive. Diaz, who had on another occasion needed paramedic assistance while driving due to her medical condition, is accused of failing to stop despite knowing that she was impaired. She is accused of driving erratically, weaving through traffic, and crossing over the raised center divider onto the wrong side of the road. While weaving across lanes southbound in the northbound lanes, Diaz is accused of crashing head-on into a Toyota Camry driven by 70-year-old Connie Chung. The victim, a grandmother of six, was rendered unconscious in the crash and was taken to Mission Hospital, where she died of traumatic injuries.
Deputy District Attorney Susan Price of the Vehicular Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.