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Suspected drunk driver who hit taco truck is charged with murder

June 19, 2012 |  9:36 am

A suspected drunk driver accused of killing two women after he led CHP officers on a pursuit, ran a red light and slammed into a crowd gathered around a Boyle Heights taco truck was charged Tuesday with multiple felonies, including murder.

Elba Jimenez, 37, who is being held in lieu of $2-million bail and is due to be arraigned in a downtown courtroom, faces two counts of murder, one felony count each of evading an officer, driving under the influence causing injury, and driving with .08 percent or higher blood alcohol level causing injury.

According to the CHP, officers tried to pull the Upland resident over about 11 p.m. Sunday after they saw her 2005 Toyota Camry weaving on the eastbound 10 Freeway. The officers flipped on their lights and sirens and ordered Jimenez to pull over.

But she refused to follow the officer's commands and led authorities on a high-speed pursuit that transitioned to the 5 Freeway, prosecutors said. Eventually, she exited at Cesar E. Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights, ran a red light and hit a dip, which sent the Camry airborne before it slammed into a crowd that had clustered around a taco truck.

Killed instantly by the impact were Claudia Fernandez, 38, and 19-year-old Marlene Alatorre. At least two other people suffered minor injuries, officers said.


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-- Andrew Blankstein (Twitter.com/anblanx)