A preliminary hearing is scheduled today for a woman who was allegedly under the influence of strong prescription medication at the time of a UTC collision that killed a 77-year-old man in another car.
Soranon Booppanon, 39, is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of drugs. She faces 15 years in prison if convicted.
At Booppanon's arraignment last year, Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey told a judge that the defendant blew through a red light at Genesee Avenue while heading west on La Jolla Village Drive on Oct. 23.
Her vehicle hit a car, then slammed into a Volkswagen Golf, killing George Matteson of Pacific Beach and seriously injuring his 74-year-old wife, Betty.
Booppanon was under "strong" prescription medications at the time of the 10:30 a.m. collision, Harvey said.
Deputy Public Defender Sal Tarantino told the judge that Booppanon spent 13 years in the Air Force and was being treated for injuries received while in the service—including combat duty—and a viral infection.
Tarantino said Booppanon was on her way to the Veterans Administration when the crash occurred.
Following a bail review, Booppanon was ordered released from custody so she could receive treatment for her medical problems.
Following a preliminary hearing today, a judge will decide if enough evidence was presented to order the defendant to stand trial.
—City News Service