Driver accused of DUI pleads not guilty to rollover crash that i - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Driver accused of DUI pleads not guilty to rollover crash that injured child

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A suspected drunken driver accused of causing a weekend rollover crash in Kensington that injured his girlfriend's 4-year-old daughter pleaded not guilty today to multiple charges, including DUI causing injury.

Albert William Pruitt, 27, faces more than 10 years in prison if convicted, said his attorney, Pamela Lacher.

Because of an alleged probation violation -- Pruitt has a DUI conviction from two years ago -- he was ordered held without bail.

The crash happened about 7:15 a.m. Saturday as Pruitt -- driving a Ford Explorer -- struck a curb while merging onto Fairmount Avenue from Aldine Drive. Police said Pruitt over-corrected, causing the SUV to roll over several times.

The 4-year-old girl, who was unrestrained in the back seat, was thrown from the SUV and suffered lacerations that required 90 stitches, prosecutor Robert Eacret said.

A 2-year-old, who also belonged to Pruitt's 23-year-old girlfriend, was in a booster seat and was not hurt, nor was the defendant, but his girlfriend suffered an abrasion to her right arm.

Lacher said Pruitt's relatives are upset over allegations that he hurt a child.

"He took care of these kids like they were his own," Lacher said outside court. "He would never intentionally do that."

Eacret told Judge David Szumowski that Pruitt's blood-alcohol level was measured at .16 percent and .15 percent four hours after the crash.

The prosecutor alleged that the defendant poses a significant danger to the community.

Besides DUI counts, Pruitt is charged with child endangerment and driving on a suspended license.

A status conference was set for Sept. 7.


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