Diabetic who crashed into bus stop, killing mother, pleads not g - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Diabetic who crashed into bus stop, killing mother, pleads not guilty to manslaughter charge

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 71-year-old diabetic whose PT Cruiser crashed into a bus stop shelter in City Heights, killing a woman and seriously injuring her 4-year-old son and boyfriend, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony gross vehicular manslaughter and a misdemeanor charge of driving on a suspended license.

Jean Chizer-Williams of San Diego faces 12 years in prison if convicted of charges stemming from the June 4 crash. Judge David Szumowski set bail at $75,000.

The defendant had been driving on a suspended license because of her medical condition, and her blood-sugar level was extremely low at the time of the crash, according to Deputy District Attorney John Pro.

Chizer-Williams lost control of the vehicle, which was traveling about 35 mph when it crashed into the bus shelter in the 4800 block of University Avenue, killing 25-year-old Vanessa Mae Shane, the prosecutor said.

Shane's 4-year-old son, Elijah, and her boyfriend and father of the child, David Abilez, suffered serious injuries. The boy and his father had multiple broken bones and the child had shards of glass stuck in his liver, Pro said.

Chizer-Williams was not cited after the accident, pending the outcome of a traffic investigation. She was booked into jail on Monday.

"A case like this is unique," Pro told reporters outside court. "The defendant was a diabetic. She had a diabetic episode -- very low blood sugar. It took a long period of time to gather information and conduct a proper investigation to determine the appropriate charges."

Chizer-Williams also had been involved in three prior non-injury collisions since 2006 due to the same set of circumstances, according to Pro, who said the defendant has had her driver's license suspended three times.

A readiness conference was set for Sept. 9 and a preliminary hearing for Sept. 13.

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