While a great majority of DUI drivers are caught by police before they can become involved in a crash, many intoxicated drivers do become involved in crashes. This can escalate charges from a simple misdemeanor DUI to several felony charges quickly. If someone is seriously injured, the felony DUI causing injury charge can be applied. If someone is killed, the driver will face charges of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated charges, which can be a felony or a misdemeanor, depending upon the circumstances. In cases where the driver has previous DUIs, they can be charged with second-degree murder. This is what is known as a DUI murder or Watson murder charge.
My News LA reports that a Lakewood woman had pleaded not guilty in a deadly Long Beach crash.
The collision occurred on March 24th on Del Amo Boulevard just west of Locust Avenue.
50-year-old Charlette Colton was driving a 2000 Dodge Caravan when she slammed into the rear of a 1996 Honda Accord. The collision pushed the Honda forward, causing it to sideswipe a nearby parked vehicle. It then collided with two pedestrians who were standing between the Honda and a 1996 Mercedes-Benz E320 removing towing equipment.
Colton fled the vehicle on foot after exiting the van following the collision. She was located at a nearby gas station.
61-year-old Bryan Bogan was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries. He succumbed to those injuries on April 4th. Another 71-year-old male was also seriously injured.
Police allege that at the time of the collision, Colton was under the influence. She is facing felony counts of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter, DUI causing injury within 10 years of another DUI offense, driving with a 0.08% BAC causing injury within 10 years of another offense, and hit-and-run involving serious injury or death.
Colton has a prior DUI conviction from 2012. The criminal complaint alleges that Colton’s BAC was 0.20% or more.
Colton has pleaded not guilty to all charges.