Mom in Fatal Crash Dancing While Driving: CHP

By Brandi Powell and R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, Nov 27, 2012  |  Updated 5:59 PM PDT
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NBC 7 reporter Brandi Powell reports outside an emotional courtroom where California Highway Patrol Officer Brad Clinkscales testified about the moments before a deadly crash.

NBC 7 reporter Brandi Powell reports outside an emotional courtroom where California Highway Patrol Officer Brad Clinkscales testified about the moments before a deadly crash.

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Otay Reservoir Crash Victim an 'Angel'

Giuliana Figueroa had just graduated preschool and was getting ready to attend her first day of kindergarten next week. The 5-year-old Chula Vista girl was killed when the car she was riding in crashed into Otay Reservoir and flipped over onto its roof. NBC 7's Mari Payton reports.
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A Chula Vista girl, killed when a car crashed into Otay Reservoir three months ago, spent her last moments alive singing along with her mother.

Lesette Silva, 5, was seated in the backseat alongside Giuliana Figueroa, 5, when the Kia Sorrento crashed into a section of the reservoir along Wueste Road and flipped over onto its roof.

Lesette’s mother, Arlene Hernandez, 22, Chula Vista was behind the wheel.

She now faces four felony charges including gross vehicular manslaughter, cruelty to child leading to death, and DUI drugs/alcohol resulting in bodily injury.

California Highway Patrol Officer Brad Clinkscales testified at Tuesday’s hearing that, in the last moments leading up to the crash, Hernandez was dancing and singing along with her daughter who was seated behind her.

"Then in the process of driving with one hand while she was dancing, she spotted the rock in the road, trying to avoid it, ended up going off of the road into the water," Clinkscales said.

Hernandez escaped the crash uninjured.

Giuliana’s father, Eric Figueroa, was the passenger in the SUV when it crashed. He managed to escape, but couldn't save his daughter.

Figueroa, who was also Hernandez' boyfriend at the time of the crash, was called to testify in Tuesday’s hearing but invoked the Fifth Amendment on all questions.

Check back for update on this developing story.

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