Woman Gets 15 to Life for Pedestrian Death

Saturday, Apr 23, 2011  |  Updated 7:41 AM PDT
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Woman Gets 15 to Life for Pedestrian Death

The driver was on multiple drugs when she crashed her car into Joel Woods in 2008.

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A Monterey woman was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison after being convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while under the influence.

Deborah King, 54, fatally struck 35-year-old Joel Woods as he was picking up his son from Pacific Grove Middle School on Sept. 2, 2008, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said in a statement.

Another driver said that King had been driving recklessly along state Highway 68 from state Highway 1 in Pacific Grove before drifting into Woods and trapping him between her sport utility vehicle and his truck.

The impact of the crash threw Woods 30 feet and he died of head injuries later that day, according to Flippo. A blood test confirmed that King had taken morphine, Vicodin, Xanax, Ambien, trazodone and Wellbutrin prior to killing Woods, Flippo said.

Flippo said that all of the drugs were capable of impairing her ability to drive. The sentence for King's manslaughter offense is typically no more than 10 years in state prison.

However, because King had five prior DUI arrests before she hit Woods, her sentence was increased to 15 years to life.

King will not be eligible for parole until 2023 and may spend the rest of her life in prison, Flippo said.

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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