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Drunk driver gets jail term for killing mother, injuring son

October 19, 2012 |  6:57 pm

A drunk driver who killed a woman and injured her son after smashing into her car was sentenced Friday to two years and eight months in jail, prosecutors said.

Edward Stanley Butler, 72, had been found guilty in April by a jury on three felony counts related to vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Prosecutors said that on Sept. 8, 2010, Tamiko Kaminaga, 60, was pulling out of an Orange parking lot and making a legal left turn, when Butler failed to stop or slow down.

Kaminaga was taken to a nearby hospital, where she died from blunt-force trauma. Her 17-year-old son, who was in the vehicle, had a broken nose and facial lacerations.

When police arrived, prosecutors said Butler of San Bernardino was sitting near his vehicle. An open bottle of vodka was found in the vehicle, and he with obviously intoxicated, with slurred speech and red, watery eyes, prosecutors said. His blood-alcohol level was 0.22% -- more than twice the legal limit.

During the sentencing, a statement from Kaminaga's daughter was read by prosecutors. The daughter, who was not named, said that the accident has altered her thoughts on alcohol, with mentions of drinking reminding her of the accident that took her mother. 

The family, she said, "carry on with our lives because our mom raised all of us to be strong. But it's so hard some days when even watching someone casually drink a glass of beer reminds me of her death.

"When someone tells a 'drunk' story they thought was humorous, or when I make a left turn on to a street, just like my mom did, also reminds me of her death."

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Fatal crash shuts eastbound 60 Freeway until after 6 p.m.

-- Rick Rojas 

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