A woman who allegedly drove drunk and caused a single-vehicle crash in Beverly Hills that killed two of her passengers and injured three others was charged Tuesday with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI.
Taisha Warie Welch, 30, of Los Angeles, pleaded not guilty to the charges stemming from the rollover crash that occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. Friday on Santa Monica Boulevard near Wilshire Boulevard.
Two of her passengers in a BMW X5 — Jenetta Williams, 30, of Palmdale, and Denesha Stewart, 24, of Lakewood — died at a hospital. Three other passengers were hurt, with two suffering great bodily injury, according to prosecutors.
Welch is charged with two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one felony count each of driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury and driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury. She is also facing a misdemeanor count of driving with a suspended or revoked license, and faces up to 16 years and six months in state prison if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Welsh, who was arrested just before 4 a.m. last Friday and remains jailed, is due back at the Airport Courthouse in Los Angeles on May 17, when a date is scheduled to be set for a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence to require her to stand trial.