SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A woman accused of striking several pedestrians, killing one, near the Twin Peaks lookout point last week made her initial appearance in San Francisco Superior Court Wednesday to face vehicular manslaughter, DUI and hit-and-run charges.
Gina Eunice, 23, did not enter a plea Wednesday and will return to court on Monday for allegedly fatally striking 56-year-old Chinese citizen Yuee Yao around 8:50 p.m. last Thursday on Christmas Tree Point Road near Twin Peaks.
Eunice is charged with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, two counts of DUI causing injury and one count of hit-and-run, all felonies. She is also charged with two misdemeanor counts of endangering the health of a minor and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Police said Eunice’s sedan struck Yao and two other victims, knocking them off the roadway and down a hillside. The victims were taken to a hospital, where Yao died. The other pedestrians’ injuries were not life-threatening.
Police found the sedan in the lookout point parking lot and took Eunice into custody. Officers also arrested two men, ages 22 and 25, on suspicion of public drunkenness.
A 17-year-old girl in the car suffered minor injuries and was taken to San Francisco General Hospital, police said.
Eunice, who remains in custody, was ordered held on $2 million bail by Judge Samuel Feng. If she posts bail, she must wear a device that confirms she is not drinking, and will not be allowed to drive, Feng said.
Her defense attorney Pam Herzig said outside of court that Eunice and her family are “destroyed by what happened.”
Several people came to support Eunice at Wednesday’s hearing but declined to speak to reporters outside of court.
“She’s someone who’s never been in trouble before. She was a quarter short of graduating from college. There are things that their family has been going through that probably has a lot to do with the full picture of how everything happened the way it did,” Herzig said.
Herzig said Eunice had plans to become a police officer and was studying criminal justice.
District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement, “The defendant’s reckless and callous behavior has cost Ms. Yao her life. Her life has abruptly and tragically been taken away from her family. This is yet another tragedy that illustrates the consequences of drinking and driving.”
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