Ripon Bulletin - - State / Nation -

PE­TALUMA (AP) — The mother of two girls killed last year in North­ern Cal­i­for­nia when the car she was driv­ing crashed and flipped into a Sonoma County river has been ar­rested in her daugh­ters’ deaths, au­thor­i­ties said.

Ale­jan­dra Her­nan­dez, 27, will ap­pear in court Tues­day to seek a re­duc­tion on her $500,000 bail, the Santa Rosa Press Demo­crat re­ported.

Her­nan­dez was ar­rested Fri­day and charged with two counts of ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter, felony child en­dan­ger­ment and driv­ing with a sus­pended li­cense.

The fatal crash hap­pened in Au­gust when Her­nan­dez was headed to Rohn­ert Park to take her daugh­ters, 7-year-old Sayra Gon­za­lez and 9-year-old Delilah Gon­za­lez, to school.

It was un­clear ex­actly what trig­gered her ar­rest. Brian Stae­bell, a spokesman for the Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice, said only that “the to­tal­ity of her con­duct while driv­ing” re­sulted in the crim­i­nal charges.

Her­nan­dez was driv­ing a sedan when she lost con­trol and went down a wooded em­bank­ment and into the Pe­taluma River, where the car over­turned and sank.

A wit­ness ran to help and found Her­nan­dez, of Rohn­ert Park, on top of the car. Po­lice of­fi­cers and fire­fight­ers ar­rived within min­utes and dove in to get the girls, still strapped up­side down by their seat belts in the wa­ter­filled car, but could not free them in time. They were pro­nounced dead at a Pe­taluma hospi­tal.

A week ear­lier, two young sis­ters, ages 4 and 6, died in a sim­i­lar ac­ci­dent when the pickup their mother was driv­ing crashed into the Rus­sian River, also in Sonoma County.

Her­nan­dez faces up to 11 years and four months in prison if con­victed.

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