|For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF2361
December 15, 2011
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
UNINSURED, DISTRACTED DRIVER CONVICTED OF KILLING MOTORIST IN CRASH AFTER RUNNING THROUGH RED LIGHT
SANTA ANA – A distracted driver was convicted today of killing another motorist by crashing into the victim’s car in an intersection after running through a red light. Laurie Anne Keen, 43, Irvine, pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter, one misdemeanor count of the recent use of a controlled substance, and an infraction for driving without automobile insurance. Keen is expected to be sentenced to two years in state prison at her sentencing Jan. 6, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana. The victim’s family will have an opportunity to make a victim impact statement at that time.
At approximately 1:21 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2011, Keen was driving in Irvine in a Chevrolet van southbound on Culver Drive approaching the intersection at Farwell Avenue. The defendant did not have automobile insurance. She failed to pay attention, drove through a red light, and crashed into the driver’s side of a Toyota sedan driven by 77-year-old Patricia Thompson-Yates. The victim was making a legal left turn from eastbound Farwell Avenue to northbound Culver Drive on a green light.
After the initial crash, Keen’s vehicle spun counterclockwise and crashed into the victim’s vehicle a second time. Both cars came to a stop in the middle of the intersection.
Thompson-Yates was transported to Hoag Hospital, Irvine, where she was pronounced dead at 2:04 p.m. due to multiple blunt traumatic injuries. The defendant refused medical care and was not transported to the hospital. A test of the defendant’s blood revealed that she had methamphetamine in her system due to recent use.
Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.