Woman pleads guilty to DUI crash that killed man

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SAN DIEGO — A disabled Air Force veteran who drove under the influence of depressants and caused a multi-car crash in University City that killed a 77-year-old man in another car and seriously injured his wife pleaded guilty Monday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.

Soranon Booppanon, 40, faces up to seven years in prison when she is sentenced April 27.

Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said at an earlier hearing that Booppanon was under the influence of Valium and three other prescription medications about 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 23, 2013, when she ran a red light on westbound La Jolla Village Drive at Genesee Avenue and caused a chain-reaction crash that killed George Matteson of Pacific Beach.

Matteson’s 74-year-old wife, Betty, suffered more than 10 broken bones.

Harvey said Booppanon was going 68 mph and accelerating when she ran the light.

The prosecutor said the defendant should not have been driving.

Defense attorney Cole Casey said Booppanon has numerous medical problems as a result of 13 years in the military and was on her way to the Veteran’s Administration when the crash happened.

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