EL CAJON, Calif. -
An alleged drunken driver accused in the deaths of two people in a freeway crash near Alpine nearly six months ago pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of DUI causing death and gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Sunny Hall, 30, faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Douglas Rose.
She was arrested after the crash, but was released while authorities completed their investigation. After surrendering to authorities, Hall was Monday ordered held in lieu of $350,000 bail.
A deadly series of crashes that culminated with the double fatality began shortly before 3 a.m. on June 11, when 25-year-old Angela August lost control of her eastbound 2009 Toyota Yaris for unknown reasons on Interstate 8, just west of Tavern Road, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The compact car went up a roadside embankment, then overturned and rolled several times before coming to rest across the far left-hand lane of the freeway, with August pinned inside.
A short time later, 59 year-old Jimmy Arevalo of El Centro pulled his Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck in front of August's car and was standing alongside the damaged Yaris, talking to the CHP on his cell phone, when Hall's eastbound 2003 Audi A6 plowed into the overturned car and Arevalo, according to Rose.
August, an Alpine resident, and Arevalo died at the scene, and officers arrested Hall.
She will be back in court Friday for a bail review. A readiness conference was set for Dec. 14 and a preliminary hearing for Dec. 17.