The woman accused of striking and killing two pedestrians – including a teenager – in National City pleaded not guilty on all charges Friday.
Tayishe Baltys, 43, is charged with two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and two counts of DUI causing injury or death to someone. She entered a not guilty plea on each charge as she appeared in a video conference call from Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility.
Baltys was arrested in connection with the Wednesday night crash that killed a 15-year-old girl and her stepfather in National City, according to the National City Police Department (NCPD). Authorities said the incident happened around 10:20 p.m. when the victims, along with another family member, tried to cross the street near the intersection of East Plaza Boulevard and Harbison Avenue.
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Baltys stayed at the scene following the crash and authorities noted she showed symptoms of being drunk.
San Diego News
According to the DA, Baltys blood alcohol level after the crash was .16. The judge denied bail saying there is a threat to the safety of the public because of a "significant substance abuse issue."
During court, the San Diego District Attorney said Baltys was convicted of a DUI in 2020 and had started probation in mid-2021 and had just completed probation 19 days before the fatal crash on Wednesday.
On Thursday, devastated family members gathered at the scene of the crash to pay their respects to the victims. A memorial filled with candles, flowers and images of the deceased rest at the site they were struck.
The victims were identified by family as Jessica Talamante and Brian McKee.
“She didn’t deserve it, she was sweet. She was going to turn 16 on July 6," Kristen White, the girls’ mother, said. "My daughter was such a good girl. She was happy, she was innocent. She was like my best friend, too.”
A bail review is set for July 7th.