Monterey County

Prunedale Woman Pleads To Manslaughter While Intoxicated

Car crash killed 26-year-old passenger

PRUNEDALE, Calif. - A Prunedale woman pleaded no contest this week to one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for a collision last year that killed her passenger, 26-year-old Benjamin Tyler Anguiano.

According to the Monterey County district attorney, Catherine Lee, 22, of Prunedale, was driving home from the bars September 2, 2013, at approximately 3:30 a.m., when she crashed on Highway 1 and 156. Lee had fallen asleep at the wheel, lost control of her car while traveling eastbound on Highway 156 and had run off the road down a dirt embankment.

Her black Scion rolled over at least once and came to rest on its wheels in a dirt ditch with approximately two feet of water. The passenger was immediately ejected from the vehicle and his body was found in an agricultural field approximately 80 to 100 feet away from where the Scion came to rest.

During the course of the investigation, Lee provided two breath samples, which showed results of .06% and .07% blood alcohol level at least three hours after the collision. A urine test revealed that the defendant also had THC, the primary chemical found in marijuana, in her system.

Lee will be sentenced on March 18th and could serve four-years in prison.

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