Woman Charged for Murder After Fatal DUI Crash

The NBC affiliate in Palm Springs reports that a 51-year-old Desert Hot Springs woman was arrested on the charge of DUI murder on Wednesday.

According to a statement released by the Desert Palm Springs Police Department, Sheila Johnson of Desert Palm Springs was arrested on one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence. Johnson also faces a sentencing enhancement for fleeing the scene of the crash, causing great bodily harm or death, weapons charges, and engaging in violent conduct.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. on August 24, police officers responded to a call regarding a vehicle /pedestrian collision near the intersection of Palm Drive and Buena Vista Avenue. 

Investigators found that a 58-year-old man had been struck by a southbound vehicle while crossing Palm Drive. The victim was left dead, lying in the road, and the vehicle that hit him was nowhere to be found. 

Paramedics were called to the scene. All attempts by police and paramedics to save the man’s life failed, and the man died of his injuries at the scene of the crash.

Desert Hot Springs Detectives and the department’s Major a\Accident Team determined that Johnson was a suspect. She was arrested in the 1300 Block of South Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs and booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility. Johnson was being held on a $1 million bond.

Johnson appeared before the court on Wednesday, September 7, and pleaded not guilty to the charges against her.

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