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Driver under influence kills female passenger

March 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Vicente Garcia Ramirez, of Huntington Beach was sentenced Thursday to 16 months in state prison for killing a female passenger after he lost control of his car and crashed into a tree. At approximately 2:00 a.m. on Jan. 9, Ramirez was driving in Garden Grove with 22-year-old Joyce Lopez. Prosecutors say the defendant was driving under the influence of alcohol and without a driver's license. Officials say because of the unsafe speed, Ramirez lost control of his Nissan Altima on Magnolia Street and drove up the center divider of the road, crashing into a tree.

Lopez was transported to the University of California Irvine Medical Center, where she later died. Ramirez pleaded guilty to one felony count of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated without gross negligence and one misdemeanor count of driving a motor vehicle without a valid license.