A San Francisco woman has been charged with one count of vehicular manslaughter and two counts of reckless driving in a horrific crash that claimed the life of a teenager and injured six others, prosecutors announced Monday.
Jennie Zhu, 58, faces the charges in the September crash in San Francisco’s Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood.
Zhu allegedly drove recklessly and went through multiple stoplights at a high rate of speed before she rear-ended a minivan occupied by a mother and her teenage son and daughter.
Kevin San, 16, was killed and his mother, sister and four others were injured in the multi-vehicle crash.
San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr said at the time of her arrest that a patrol officer saw a silver Mercedes cross Polk St. at a high rate of speed just two blocks before the crash occurred at 6:55 a.m. at Pine and Gough streets.
”The vehicle was going so fast, he (the officer) didn’t have time to even activate his lights before the crash took place,” Suhr said.
”The high rate of speed had been for several blocks,” Suhr added. “Witnesses have said they could not believe how fast the car was going…Some estimate (the speed) as high as 80 mph. “
Zhu told investigators that she did not remember making any attempt to push the brake, turn the ignition off or put it into another gear to stop the car.
Prosecutors said they brought in a Mercedes Benz engineer annd a member of the California Highway Patrol’s accident investigation team to examine Zhu’s car before deciding to file charges.
Zhu did not suffer any injuries in the crash and has been free on $320,000 bail. She will be arraigned on the charges Thursday.
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said Zhu could be sentenced to seven years in prison.
“The exposure at this point is seven years, but again I don’t want people to think that she would necessarily be going to prison for seven years, we just don’t know at this point,” Gascon said.