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Woman Pleads Not Guilty in Crash That Killed Two Friends in Highland Park

Jeanette Romero, 23, is charged with two counts each of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence causing injury.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

A woman pleaded not guilty Friday to vehicular manslaughter and DUI charges stemming from a crash last November that killed two people, including a friend who had been celebrating her 22nd birthday.

Jeanette Romero, 23, is charged with two counts each of vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence causing injury.

Romero had been out with four girlfriends last Nov. 3 to celebrate Ana Cuadra's birthday and was driving on the northbound Arroyo Seco (110) Freeway at Avenue 52 when her car struck a curb at a turnout and hit a chain-link fence and a tree, according to prosecutors.

Cuadra, who was seated in the back of the car, was killed in the crash, along with Blanca Belman-Almanza, 23, who was riding in the front passenger seat. Romero suffered major injuries in the crash, as did her third passenger.

Cuadra, who faces up to 13 years in state prison if convicted as charged, appeared in court in a wheelchair and was ordered to remain jailed in lieu of $330,000 bail while awaiting her next court appearance Feb. 27.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Roberto Longoria instructed the Sheriff's Department not to release Romero without an alcohol monitoring device. The judge also ordered Romero not to drive if she is released on bail.

—City News Service

Cris25 February 16, 2014 at 03:29 PM
Wrong name! 2nd to last paragraph, it should not say "Cuadra, who faces up to 13 years in state prison...."

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