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22-year-old woman arraigned for hitting and killing man on Vista freeway while 'high on pot'

The woman, who prosecutors said was high on pot, is accused of hitting and killing a man while changing a tire on a Vista freeway.

VISTA, Calif. — A recent college graduate, who prosecutors said was high on pot, is accused of hitting and killing a man while changing a tire in the center median on a Vista freeway.

22-year-old Isabella Herrera pleaded not guilty Tuesday of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and driving under the influence of drugs. 

The prosecutor said they believed the suspect was high on marijuana.

Rafael Cardona’s family is in disbelief that their brother is dead. 

He was one of six brothers and a sister. He lived in Oceanside, but his brother said he would visit their family in Tijuana every Sunday and attend church.

Edilberto Jurado said, “Rafael was a good man. A helpful man. A Christian man. He was like an angel to this family.” But they knew something was wrong when Rafael didn’t attend church on February 26th.

Authorities said around 10:20 a.m. on February 26, Rafael was changing his tire in the center median of State Route 78 at Emerald Drive when Herrera’s car hit and killed him. Rafael was pronounced dead at the scene.

Herrera’s attorney said she’s from Washington, but she’s been in San Diego because she’s been going to college and recently graduated. She’s supposed to walk in her graduation in May.

Alberto said, “I feel sad for her and her family. It was a tragic situation for both of us, both of our families.”

Alberto told CBS 8 he last saw his brother just two days before he was killed. 

Edilberto said, “He [told me] have a good day, and we said we love you. We love you.”

He never dreamed that would be the last time he ever saw him. Edilberto said, “I go to the supermarket, and I hope to find him there, and sometimes I hope there was a misunderstanding, and I get the feeling he's there. But he's not there.

WATCH RELATED: Man hit and killed in Vista while changing tire on freeway center divide

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