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Woman gets 9 years for DUI crash that killed pedestrian in Rancho Penasquitos

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Posted at 6:03 PM, Feb 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-24 21:03:00-05

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A young woman who was drunk when she got behind the wheel of her car, fatally struck a pedestrian on a Rancho Penasquitos sidewalk and then fled the scene was sentenced today to nine years in prison.

Evelin Nunez, 21, pleaded guilty last month to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, along with hit-and-run allegations, for fatally striking 37-year-old Nang Arm on Aug. 25, 2019. Arm was struck at around 7 a.m. while out for a walk on Black Mountain Road, north of Carmel Mountain Road, according to police and prosecutors.

She was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, where she was pronounced dead the following day, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office. Nunez, who was 20 at the time, was driving a gold-colored 2006 Nissan Sentra south in the 13700 block of Black Mountain Road when she veered to the right and onto a sidewalk, striking Arm, said San Diego police Sgt. Tim Underwood.

The car then struck a fence and hit a water line before coming to a stop, Underwood said. Police said Nunez, who was driving with two passengers in the car, got out of the car and walked away. She was arrested near the scene a few hours after the crash. Her blood-alcohol content after the crash was 0.08 percent, according to Deputy District Attorney Laura Evans.

Nunez addressed the court and Arm's family and friends in attendance, calling her decisions "stupid and selfish'' and said she's "so deeply tormented by guilt and shame.''

"I know that forgiveness is hard because I, myself, find it extremely hard to forgive myself, but I do hope one day, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, whenever you're ready, I hope you can forgive me. And if you choose to never do so, I respect your decision even though your forgiveness is everything to me,'' Nunez said.

"(Arm) is the one who deserves to live and be here with her loved ones, not me.'' Defense attorney Brian McNeil requested probation for his client, citing Nunez's lack of a criminal record and deep remorse for Arm's death, but San Diego County Superior Court Judge Robert J. Trentacosta said the harm to the victim and her family, along with Nunez's flight from the scene, precluded him from granting probation.