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DUI driver sentenced for Menifee work-zone crash that injured 2

By in Press Enterprise on June 13, 2017

By City News Service

A woman responsible for an alcohol-fueled crash in a Menifee construction zone that injured two people was sentenced Monday, June 12, to nine months in jail and four years’ probation.

Theresa Miranda, 51, pleaded guilty April 17 to two counts of driving under the influence resulting in great bodily injury and one count of driving on a suspended license. The plea was made directly to Riverside County Superior Court Judge Kelly Hansen, without objection from the District Attorney’s Office.

The night of Dec. 8, 2015, authorities said, the defendant drove her 2011 Toyota Tacoma through a construction zone on the 215 Freeway just north of Scott Road, where one lane had been shut down for repairs. She failed to see a slower-moving 2013 Hyundai Elantra ahead of her, according to California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig.

“Miranda was driving at too great a speed for the roadway conditions, and the front of the Tacoma struck the rear of the Hyundai,” Lassig said previously in a news release. “The impact between the vehicles caused both to spin out of control … toward parked construction equipment.”

A road worker, 40-year-old Armando Cendejas of Hemet, was on the shoulder of the freeway when the vehicles struck a skip loader and a steam roller. Lassig said Cendejas jumped toward an embankment to get away from flying debris and fell, breaking his ankle.

The Hyundai driver, 28-year-old Anna King of Azusa, also suffered moderate injuries. She and Cendejas were both hospitalized. Miranda was unhurt.

According to court records, Miranda has a prior misdemeanor DUI conviction, which resulted in the suspension of her driver’s license.


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