A year ago February there was a tragic accident that led to an eight-car pile-up on Highway 101 in Monterey County, all caused by one woman whose SUV jumped the median and plowed into oncoming traffic. That woman, 43-year-old Vivian Ramirez, was sentenced last week to six years in prison for vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.

Law enforcement was unable to find any alcohol or other substances in Ms. Ramirez's blood, however she had two prior DUI convictions on her record, and empty pill bottles were found in her car after her arrest. Prosecutors were able to argue for "gross negligence" however after Ramirez was unable to explain why she made no attempt to course-correct, and just drove directly across a 35-foot median into oncoming traffic, killing three people in a Volkswagon Beetle, and injuring 15 others in the pile-up. She admitted only that she had been reaching for her cell phone at the time of the accident.

The three people killed and some of those injured had been caravaning back toward the Bay Area from a funeral. The accident took place on February 22, 2012, and the victims were all Napa residents: Rafael Llamas, 37, Graciela Llamas, 39, and Maria Llamas, 53.


Previously: 3 Die in 8-Car Crash Blamed on Drunken Driver [SFGate]