CHP ID's Driver in Suspected DUI Crash That Killed Taxi Driver

The crash on Saturday left a taxi driver dead on Interstate 5

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The California Highway Patrol says 42-year-old Amy Marie St. John-Smith of Phoenix, Ariz. was driving the wrong way on I-5 when she collided with a taxi, killing the cab driver. NBC 7’s Diana Guevara reports.

     The California Highway Patrol has released the name of the alleged drunk driver who caused an Old Town crash that killed a cab driver.

    Officials said 42-year-old Amy Marie St. John-Smith of Phoenix, Arizona, was driving the wrong way on Interstate 5 when she collided head-on with a taxi early Saturday morning.

    The driver of that cab, 42-year-old Anteneh Minassie, then got out of his vehicle and was struck multiple times by oncoming traffic.

    In the midst of the chaos, the CHP said St. John-Smith made a U-turn on the freeway and drove off.

    She was arrested a few hours later, but authorities have not released details about how she was found. At the time, she was driving a rental car.

    On Monday, the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed that St. John-Smith got out of jail on a $100,000 bond. She faces three felony counts of vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, felony DUI causing injury and fleeing the scene of an accident causing injury or death.

    Officer Jake Sanchez, spokesperson for the CHP, said the charges may not have been as severe if she had stayed put.

    "If you're in an accident or traffic crash, we want you to stay behind and talk to us. Let us do our job. Leaving someone on the side of the road or in the middle of the street and taking off is just a horrible thing to do,” said Sanchez.

    Investigators are still trying to determine how many times Minassie was struck by various vehicles. They are searching for other witnesses to the incident.

    The victim leaves behind three children and a wife, and his family is still making memorial service arraignments.

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