Woman sentenced 21 years in OC DUI crash that killed couple, injured daughters

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Saturday, July 30, 2022
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Grace Coleman had a blood-alcohol level of 0.22% when she got into her Range Rover - after already getting a ride home that night - prosecutors say.

SANTA ANA, Calif. (KABC) -- An Orange County woman has been sentenced to at least 21 years in prison for a DUI crash that killed a Santa Ana couple and left their three young daughters hospitalized.

Grace Elizabeth Coleman was sentenced to 21 years to life, with no probation, as part of a plea deal that avoided the possibility of a stiffer sentence potentially ranging from 42 years to life in prison if convicted at trial.

Prosecutors say on the night of the deadly collision in Newport Beach on Dec. 8, 2020, Coleman was given a ride home before the crash. But then she got back behind the wheel of her Range Rover, with a blood-alcohol level that was later measured at 0.22% or nearly three times the legal limit.

She slammed into a Nissan driven by a Santa Ana family that was out for a night of looking at Christmas lights. Officials say she ran a red light and was moving at 75 mph when she hit the car.

Henry Eduardo Saldana-Mejia, 27, and his wife, Gabriela M. Andrade, 28, were killed in the collision.

Their three daughters, ages 1, 3 and 5 years, were dressed in their Christmas pajamas. All three girls were hospitalized with broken limbs.

A GoFundMe has been established to help the daughters, who are now being raised by family members.

Impact statements read in court on Friday included a letter read by the aunt of the daughters and a display of their drawings.

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