A drunken driver who slammed her car into a police officer in the city of Orange, critically injuring the victim, accepted a plea deal Tuesday from an Orange County Superior Court judge, who promised not to sentence her to more than three years in prison.
Ashley Victoria Bertolino, 27, of Tustin, pleaded guilty to driving drunk and under the influence of drugs causing bodily injury and driving with a blood-alcohol level exceeding the legal limit of 0.08.
The victim was one of three officers responding to a call for service around 3 a.m. Dec. 10 on North Cambridge Street just north of Walnut Avenue. He was parked on the right curb and “went to retrieve an item out of the rear of his patrol vehicle” when he was hit by the 2016 Hyundai that Bertolino was driving, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The officer suffered major trauma to his legs and pelvis, and his vehicle was pushed into three parked cars, officials said.
Bertolino suffered minor cuts in the crash. Her blood-alcohol level was 0.13, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. She also had drugs in her system and was driving 40 mph, over the speed limit of 25 mph, prosecutors said.
Orange County Superior Court Judge Kazuharu Makino scheduled sentencing for Oct. 24.
When Bertolino was charged, prosecutors said she could have faced up to six years in prison if convicted at trial.
–City News Service