Monterey County

Prunedale woman gets 4 years in prison for fatal DUI crash

PRUNEDALE, Calif. - A Prunedale woman was sentenced Tuesday to four years in state prison for a drunken-driving crash that killed her 26-year-old passenger.

Catherine Lee, 22, pleaded no contest last month to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter. Monterey County prosecutors say Lee was intoxicated on Sept. 2 at 3:30 a.m.  when she fell asleep at the wheel and lost control of her car while traveling eastbound on Highway 156. Her car went off the road and down a dirt embankment, and came to rest on its wheels in a ditch with approximately two feet of water.

Her passenger, Benjamin Tyler Anguiano, was ejected from the vehicle. His body was found in an agricultural field about 80-100 feet away from where the car landed. He was dead when medical personnel arrived. 

Tests determined Lee's blood alcohol level was at .06 and 0.7 percent an hour after the collision. She also had marijuana in her system.

In Monterey County Superior Court Tuesday, Judge Larry Hayes sentenced Lee to four years in prison.

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