|For Immediate Release
Case # 09HF2368
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
IMPAIRED WRONG-WAY DRIVER SENTENCED TO
TWO YEARS IN PRISON FOR KILLING GRANDMOTHER IN CAR CRASH
SANTA ANA – A woman was sentenced today to two years in state prison for killing a 70-year-old grandmother by crashing into her car while driving on the wrong side of the road. Betty Diaz, 39, Lake Forest, pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter by unlawful acts with gross negligence and two felony counts of child endangerment.
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 started 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, failed to stop despite knowing that she was impaired.
Diaz began driving erratically, weaving through traffic, and crossed over the raised center divider onto the wrong side of the road. While weaving across lanes southbound in the northbound lanes, Diaz crashed 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 prosecuted this case.