A Jan. 21 trial date was set Wednesday for a woman accused of driving drunk and killing two teachers in a freeway crash near Alpine last year.
Sunny Hall, 31—whose criminal past includes 16 arrests—is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing death. She pleaded not guilty to the charges Wednesday.
The defendant faces 13 years in prison if convicted, Deputy District Attorney Douglas Rose said.
A series of crashes that culminated with the double fatality began shortly before 3 a.m. June 11, 2012, when 25-year-old substitute teacher and UCSD graduate student Angela August of Alpine lost control of her eastbound 2009 Toyota Yaris for unknown reasons on Interstate 8 just west of Tavern Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The compact went up a roadside embankment, then overturned and rolled several times before coming to rest across the far left-hand lane of the freeway, with August pinned inside.
A short time later, 59-year-old Jimmy Arevalo, an El Centro resident who taught in Calexico, pulled his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck in front of August's car and was standing alongside the damaged Yaris, talking to the CHP on his cell phone, when Hall's eastbound 2003 Audi A6 plowed into the overturned car and Arevalo, according to Rose.
August and Arevalo died at the scene, and Hall was arrested. Her blood- alcohol level was measured at .15 percent after the accident, nearly double the legal limit for driving, according to the prosecutor.
Hall's criminal past includes six felonies from Washington state, where she spent time in prison, according to Rose.
Hall also had convictions for drug possession, theft, forgery, escape, bail jumping and four convictions for driving with a suspended or revoked license, Rose said.