Drunk driving suspect in crash that killed jogger was on probation for DUI

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EL CAJON, Calif. -- A probationer who was allegedly under the influence of alcohol when he lost control of his work truck and struck a female jogger in Lakeside pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges of murder, gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing great bodily injury.

Michael Woodfill, 46, who was on probation for a DUI conviction from 2016, was ordered held on $1 million bail in the death of 41-year-old Susana Gotell. Woodfill was also convicted of DUI in 2006.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Woodfill was traveling eastbound on North Woodside Avenue near Riverford Road about 6:40 p.m. Monday when his truck drifted to the right and hit a chain-link fence. Woodfill then overcorrected, steered the truck across the opposite lane and struck the jogger, said CHP Officer Travis Garrow.

Woodfill's truck continued down a dirt embankment after striking Gotell and overturned, Garrow said.

The victim was transported to Sharp Memorial Hospital in San Diego, where she later died.

Garrow said Woodfill remained at the scene, and officers determined that he was allegedly under the influence of alcohol at the time of the deadly collision. Preliminary screenings from Monday's crash show his blood alcohol level was .21 percent.

The Santee resident faces a maximum of 15 years to life in state prison if convicted. He will be back in court Sept. 24 for a readiness conference.

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