|For Immediate Release
Case # 11CF3305
September 13, 2012
|Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
WOMAN CONVICTED OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRUGS AND SERIOUSLY INJURING NEWPORT BEACH HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT
SANTA ANA – A woman was convicted today of driving under the influence of drugs and crashing into a Newport Harbor High School student, who was walking in a crosswalk from school. Marnie Jo Lippincott, 39, Costa Mesa, pleaded guilty to the court to one felony count of driving under the influence causing bodily injury and one misdemeanor count of driving on a suspended license with a sentencing enhancement for causing brain injury and paralysis. She faces a maximum sentence of eight years in state prison at her sentencing Dec. 7, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. in Department C-57, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
At approximately 2:53 p.m. on Dec. 6, 2011, Lippincott was driving her Chevrolet Tahoe under the influence of multiple drugs and alcohol without a license, as her license had previously been suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles. She was driving north on Irvine Avenue toward an intersection on Margaret Drive. Lippincott failed to yield for the pedestrians in the crosswalk and hit 17-year-old Crystal M., who was leaving school with two friends.
As a result of the collision, Crystal M. was thrown several feet and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The victim was transported to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she was declared to be in critical condition and was placed in a medically-induced coma. The victim continues to suffer cognitive deficits and long-lasting brain trauma injuries.
Witnesses called 911. The Newport Beach Police Department responded to the scene, administered a series of Field Sobriety Tests on Lippincott, and found the defendant unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. At the time of the crash, the defendant was under the influence of drugs including oxazepham, temazepam, phentermine, methadone, all of which impaired her driving. More than three hours after the crash, Lippincott had a blood alcohol level of .05 percent.
Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.