Air Force Veteran Pleads Guilty in Deadly Crash

A plea agreement cuts her maximum sentence in half.

A 13-year Air Force veteran who was driving under the influence of prescription medication during a deadly crash pleaded guilty in a downtown courtroom Monday.

Soranon Booppanon, 40, was arrested for felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter on Oct. 23, 2013 following a collision in University City, near the UTC mall in La Jolla, that left a 77-year-old man dead.

Four vehicles were involved in the crash, where police said a Volkswagen Golf and an Audi were turning onto La Jolla Village Drive from Genesee Avenue when Booppanon, driving her Prius, ran a red light and hit both cars. She then ran into a Nissan truck.

George Matteson, 77, was the driver of the Golf and died from injuries sustained in the collision.

Booppanon was released from custody a week after her 2013 arrest.

Booppanon's defense attorneys argued she was suffering medical issues stemming from injuries sustained during her time in the Air Force.

She was apparently on her way to the VA hospital at the time of the crash.

Booppanon was facing 15 years in prison, but defense attorney Cole Casey said the plea deal guarantees the prosecution cannot seek and the judge cannot impose anything more than seven years.

Sentencing is scheduled for Apr. 27.

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