Woman sentenced to 8 years in prison in DUI crash that killed 2 - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Woman sentenced to 8 years in prison in DUI crash that killed 2 children

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CHULA VISTA (CNS) - A Chula Vista woman who crashed a minivan into Otay Reservoir while drunk, killing her 5-year-old daughter and another child, was sentenced Friday to eight years in prison.

Arlene Anna Hernandez, 23, pleaded guilty in March to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI. She could have received up to 12 years in prison.

Authorities said Hernandez lost control of her 2005 Kia Sedona on eastbound Otay Lakes Road shortly after 6 p.m. last Aug. 5. The vehicle tumbled down an embankment near Wueste Road, overturned, landed on its roof in the water and sank, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Hernandez and her front sear passenger, Eric Figueroa, got out, but Figueroa's daughter, Guiliana, and the defendant's daughter, Lesette Silva, were not pulled out of the vehicle until several area residents and Border Patrol agents arrived. The children were airlifted to Rady Children's Hospital, where they were declared dead.

CHP Officer Brad Clinkscales testified at a preliminary hearing in November that Figueroa told him he met Hernandez a few months earlier and their daughters played together.

On the day of the crash, Hernandez and Figueroa arranged a "play date" with their girls and met at a Ralphs grocery store, Clinkscales said.

Figueroa bought a six-pack of beer, and Hernandez drove them to a park, where they had about three beers each, the officer said Figueroa told him.

Hernandez saw some skydivers and said she wanted to give her daughter an up-close look, so they drove toward the area, Clinkscales said Figueroa told him.

Figueroa said he was blindfolded during the drive because Hernandez had a "surprise." He said he didn't know anything was wrong until he heard yelling and minivan careened out of control.

Hernandez's blood-alcohol level was measured at 0.13 percent after the crash, the officer said.

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