A San Diego woman, Soranon Booppanon, was arrested for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter after colliding with another vehicle near the UTC mall in University City, leaving a 77-year-old man dead. If found guilty, Booppanon could be looking at up to 15 years in prison as punishment for this crime. The crash, which occurred on October 23rd around 10:30 a.m., involved Booppanon, 39, and three other vehicles of whom Booppanon hit after running a red light. Police reports state that Booppanon was driving her Toyota Prius when she ran a red light at the La Jolla Village Drive and Genesee Avenue intersection, hitting a Volkswagon Golf, an Audi, and a Nissan truck. Tragically George Matteson, the driver of the Volkswagon Golf and a resident of Pacific Beach, passed away due to his injuries. His wife, Betty Matteson, who was also in the vehicle at the time of the crash, was also seriously injured but did in fact survive. The driver of the Audi and Booppanon had minor injuries and the Nissan driver was unharmed. Despite being accused for driving under the influence of prescription drugs at the time of the crash, the San Diego District Attorney’s office validated that Booppanon has been released from custody to receive treatment for preexisting medical issues. Her release was not free of objections from prosecutors who argued in court that Booppanon was on strong prescription medications and should under no circumstances have been driving that day. However, a defense attorney pleaded to the judge that Booppanon is suffering from a viral infection and medical conditions stemming from multiple injuries she sustained during her 13-year servitude in the U.S. Air Force. He also stated that Booppanon was actually on her way to the Veterans Administration at the time of the accident. Upon agreeing to Booppanon’s release, the judge ordered her not to drive and to only leave her house when she needs to attend medical appointments. Booppanon is due back in court November 5th and & 7th for a readiness conference and preliminary hearing.
“DUI Suspect in Fatal Crash Released from Custody”– NBC 7 News, October 31, 2013
“Soranon Booppanon, accussed in fatal…” ABC 10 News, November 1, 2013