Thursday, March 17, 2011
Towards the end of last month a Newport Beach man was hit while riding his bicycle up San Joaquin Hills Road in Newport Beach. The driver Danae Miller, 22, was allegedly drunk and was text messaging when the fatal accident took place and has been charged with gross vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated for the Feb. 21 crash that killed Amine Britel - a Morocco native who operated a Newport Beach travel agency. It is one thing to be driving drunk but it's another thing altogether to be text messaging while driving drunk. Text messaging has been the cause of a number of car wrecks and deaths across the country, toss alcohol into the picture and it is certainly a lethal combination.
According to police reports, Miller was drinking at her work before getting into her car to drive home at about 6 p.m. The crash happened only a few streets away from her home; Britel was struck as he rode his bike eastbound on San Joaquin Hills Road - Amine died at the scene. Prosecutors assert, Miller was not only drunk, but she was also text messaging when her car veered into the bike lane striking Britel from behind. Miller had a blood alcohol level of .10 nearly two hours after the crash, over the legal limit of .08.
If Miller is convicted, she is looking at up to 10 years in prison. Miller is scheduled to be arraigned April 4 and is out on $100,000 bail. It is hard not to think about Miller's driving past that led up to that fatal day in February, her record screamed problem driver and yet she continued to hold onto her license. Hopefully, while Miller is out on bail she will not be allowed to operate a motor vehicle, let alone drink alcohol.