Trial set for Pinay in distracted driving case

ANAHEIM – A jury trial has been set for a Filipino-American woman accused of driving while distracted, causing a fatal accident.

An Orange County District Attorney spokesperson told the Asian Journal on Friday that trial for Fil-Am Jorene Ypante Nicolas will start on December 5. Attorney Jennifer Walker will prosecute the case.

Orange County District Attorney prosecutors allege Nicolas, 29, is accused of “being distracted and inattentive” while speeding on the northbound I-405 freeway around the Westminster area in 2011 when she “failed to notice that the traffic ahead had come to a complete stop.”

“Nicolas is accused of failing to brake or slow and crashing at approximately 80 miles per hour into the back of a Hyundai sedan, which was just starting to move after being at a full stop in traffic,” according to the Orange County District Attorney.

The driver of the Hyundai, Deanna Mauer, 23, passed away due to injuries sustained in the collision.

Nicolas was arrested and charged with vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. She pleaded not guilty. She faces six years in prison, if convicted.

Nicolas of San Diego told the Asian Journal in a previous interview that she is not guilty.

Though earlier reports say Nicolas was texting or on a cellphone, her attorney, Eric Lampel, will argue that it wasn’t the case.

Lampel told the Asian Journal in a previous interview that  the crash was an accident. 

(LA Weekend October 26-29, 2013 Sec A pg.1)

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