DUBLIN (CBS SF) — A Pleasanton woman has been convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated for killing a Sunnyvale man in a crash in San Lorenzo in unincorporated Alameda County three years ago, prosecutors said.
Jurors convicted former registered nurse Michelle Biala, 33, for the death of Steven Lin, 38, on July 13, 2015, in a trial in Alameda County Superior Court that concluded on Monday.
Alameda County prosecutors said Lin, who was driving a Toyota Prius, ran over something in the roadway on southbound Interstate Highway 880 just south of state Highway 238 at about 9:45 p.m. on July 13, 2015, and suffered a flat tire.
Lin pulled his car to the shoulder, activated his flashing lights and remained buckled while he called for a tow, according to prosecutors. Several other vehicles also had flat tires and were parked on the shoulder of Highway 880.
A short time later, at 9:57 p.m., Biala was driving southbound on Highway 880 when she swerved her 2007 Chevrolet TrailBlazer across several lanes and collided with the Prius, killing Lin, prosecutors said.
A blood test two hours after the crash showed that Biala had significant levels of marijuana and Ambien, a sleeping pill, according to prosecutors.
Biala, who was a registered nurse at the time, had marijuana in her purse and an Ambien pill bottle that she had picked up from a pharmacy two hours before the crash and had five of its 10 pills missing, prosecutors said.
Two years before the crash, Biala had been convicted of “wet” reckless driving and was ordered to attend a 30-hour DUI class, according to prosecutors.
Five months prior to the crash, Biala was arrested for DUI for an incident in which she was found disoriented on the side of a freeway with damage to her vehicle, prosecutors said.
Biala admitted at that time that she had used marijuana, Xanax and Valium and was too high to drive, according to prosecutors.
Biala is scheduled to be sentenced by Alameda County Superior Court Judge Michael Gaffey on June 29.
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