DUI suspect facing murder charges after crash that killed OC couple, seriously injured 3 daughters

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Three young girls are fighting for their lives after they were injured in a suspected DUI crash that killed both of their parents in Newport Beach.

Newport Beach police say 22-year-old Grace Coleman was driving under the influence when her Range Rover ran a red light and collided with a Nissan Tuesday evening. A married couple from Santa Ana was killed and their three daughters, ages 1, 4 and 5, who were all secured in car seats, were seriously injured.

On Thursday, the Orange County District Attorney's office announced charges had been filed against Coleman including two felony counts of murder, one felony count of driving under the influence of alcohol causing bodily injury, one felony count of driving with a blood alcohol of .08% or more causing bodily injury, and one felony count of hit and run with injury.

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Three young children are fighting for their lives after they were injured in a suspected DUI crash that killed both of their parents in Newport Beach.



She faces a maximum sentence of 34 years and eight months to life in state prison if convicted on all charges.

Video from the scene showed one of the children was still in the car seat and on a gurney, and another child was seen with a bandage on her head.

The parents who were killed were identified as Henry Saldana-Mejia, 27, of Santa Ana, and Gabriela Andrade, 28, of Santa Ana.

The crash happened at about 7:46 p.m. near the intersection of Pelican Hill Road and Newport Coast Drive, according to the Newport Beach Police Department.

Coleman was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI, homicide with a traffic fatality and hit-and-run resulting in death.

Police say this is Coleman's second DUI arrest in the past four months. She suffered minor injuries in the crash and is in the hospital under police supervision.

The previous arrest was on Aug. 29 in Laguna Beach. The DA's office says Coleman was charged with one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence of alcohol and a misdemeanor of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08% or more.

"Three young girls are orphans because of the selfish decision of a stranger," said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. "Everyone knows how dangerous drinking and driving or using drugs and driving is, and that it is a crime. Yet over and over again people choose to get behind the wheel after drinking or using drugs, and they are killing innocent people and destroying lives."
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