A 27-year-old Pomona woman made her first appearance in court Monday on charges related to a drunken driving, hit-and-run crash in Anaheim that killed three men.
Cynthia Lizbeth Ayala was charged Friday with three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and single counts each of driving under the influence of alcohol causing injury, driving under the influence of alcohol with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit of .08% causing injury and hit and run with permanent and serious injury, all felonies. She also faces sentencing enhancements for fleeing the scene after committing vehicular manslaughter.
Ayala is accused of killing 32-year-old Jacob Rolon of La Mirada, 36-year-old Richard Zuniga of Anaheim and 63-year-old Alexander Smiller of Los Angeles in a May 4 crash at Brookhurst Street and Orange Avenue.
Officers responded to the crash about 2:50 a.m. and found a white Mercedes-Benz sedan abandoned and a black Kia with the three victims inside, all of whom were pronounced dead at the scene, Anaheim police Sgt. Shane Carringer said in May.
Witnesses saw two women in their 20s get out of the Mercedes and get into another vehicle, Carringer said. The women later went to an area hospital, where one was treated for minor injuries and the other was more seriously hurt and required surgery, Carringer said.
The criminal complaint alleges Ayala’s blood-alcohol level at .218. She was also accused of driving an unsafe speed and inattention, according to the complaint.
Ayala, who was arrested Friday, was scheduled to be arraigned in the jail courtroom in Santa Ana on Monday, but the hearing was rescheduled for Dec. 22.
The Mercedes was moving northbound on Brookhurst when it slammed into the Kia, which was exiting the parking lot of a hookah lounge, Carringer said. The Mercedes caught fire, but it was a small blaze that an officer on scene extinguished.