Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
WOMAN TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR VEHICULAR MANSLAUGHTER FOR KILLING 3-YEAR-OLD GIRL
SANTA ANA –A woman is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow for running a red light and slamming into a vehicle and killing a 3-year-old girl. Soon Ok Lee, 66, Irvine, is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence with a sentencing enhancement of causing great bodily injury. If convicted, Lee faces a maximum sentence of nine years in state prison. Lee is scheduled to be arraigned, Wednesday, March 7, 2012, expected at 9:00 a.m. in Department C-55, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.
On May 15, 2011, at approximately 4:40 p.m., Lee is accused of driving alone in her 2008 Acura TL eastbound on Edinger Avenue approaching the intersection at Kensington Park Drive in Tustin. At the intersection, Lee is accused of running a red light and slamming into a 2002 Honda Accord with a family of three inside as the car was making a legal left-turn on a green arrow light, from Edinger Avenue to Kensington Park Drive. The defendant is accused of crashing her vehicle into the victim’s car, causing it to spin before coming to rest in the middle of the intersection. The defendant’s car ended up on the sidewalk at the southeast corner of the intersection.
The defendant is accused of causing the impact of the crash which killed 3-year-old Milena Avila. The toddler suffered blunt force head trauma and was pronounced dead upon her arrival to the hospital. The defendant is also accused of causing a fractured hip to the girl’s mother, Catherine Avila.
Deputy District Attorney Nancy Hayashida of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.