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Orange County

D.A. Won't File Charges in Car Crash

Fatal: Woman whose vehicle hit and killed two girls at school may still face Anaheim counts.

April 03, 2002|STUART PFEIFER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Orange County district attorney's office declined Tuesday to file felony charges against a woman whose car struck and killed two children last month outside an Anaheim elementary school.

Prosecutors chose not to file felony vehicular manslaughter charges because there was no evidence the woman was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or driving with gross negligence, said Tori Richards, a spokeswoman for the district attorney. The Anaheim city attorney's office, which handles misdemeanor prosecutions in the city, could still charge Maria Juarez with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. The charge carries a maximum sentence of one year in county jail.

Senior Assistant City Atty. Mark Logan said his office had not yet received the case for review.

Juarez told police that she struck the two girls after picking up her grandchildren at Centralia Elementary School. She said she mistakenly hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. Her car jumped a curb and struck Nidia "Liz" Curiel, 6, of Anaheim and Bianca Jasmine Perez, 7, of Buena Park. Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez said investigators plan to present the case to the Anaheim city attorney's office later this week.

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