Mom takes plea deal in crash that killed girls

She was driv­ing on a sus­pended li­cense when her daugh­ters died in river plunge.

Los Angeles Times - - CITY & STATE - As­so­ci­ated press

PETALUMA, CALIF. — The mother of two girls killed in 2016 when the car she was driv­ing plunged into a North­ern Cal­i­for­nia river has reached a plea agree­ment with prose­cu­tors.

Ale­jan­dra Her­nan­dez, 27, re­cently pleaded no con­test to two counts of felony gross ve­hic­u­lar man­slaugh­ter, ac­cord­ing to the Press Demo­crat.

“She’s ac­cept­ing re­spon­si­bil­ity that this wouldn’t have hap­pened if she’d been more care­ful, if she’d done some­thing dif­fer­ently,” said her at­tor­ney, Izaak Sch­waiger. “Noth­ing will make her feel worse than when she crawled out of the car with­out her chil­dren.”

A Sonoma County judge will is­sue a sen­tence next month when he re­views the terms of the agree­ment.

If the judge ac­cepts the agree­ment, Her­nan­dez will be given credit for the year she has spent con­fined to her home with an an­kle bracelet, and given a fiveyear pro­ba­tion term.

She will be pro­hib­ited from driv­ing dur­ing that term, Deputy Dist. Atty. Laura Pas­saglia said.

The Au­gust 2016 crash oc­curred when Her­nan­dez was tak­ing her daugh­ters, 7year-old Sayra Gon­za­lez and 9-year-old Delilah Gon­za­lez, to school.

Po­lice and fire­fight­ers dove into the water within min­utes of the crash and cut the girls free of their seat belts. They were rushed to a hos­pi­tal but died.

At the time of the crash, Her­nan­dez-Ruiz had a small amount of metham­phetamine in her sys­tem, and her driver’s li­cense was sus­pended, of­fi­cials said.

By the time Her­nan­dez was charged in Septem­ber 2017, she was un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy and ra­di­a­tion treat­ment for an ag­gres­sive form of cer­vi­cal cancer. Sch­waiger said the treat­ment ap­pears to have worked, and he’s been told she’s do­ing well in re­cov­ery.

Beth Sch­lanker The Press Demo­crat

CHP of­fi­cers ex­am­ine the car of Ale­jan­dra Her­nan­dez in 2016. Daugh­ters Sayra Gon­za­lez and Delilah Gon­za­lez died af­ter the Petaluma River crash.

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