An El Cajon man accused of driving drunk and causing a crash in Lemon Grove that killed a young mother two days before Christmas pleaded not guilty Wednesday to gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated.
Isaac Tre Payne, 26, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of all charges in the crash that killed El Cajon resident Leslie Nunez Rosas, 25.
At Payne’s arraignment in El Cajon Superior Court, Deputy District Attorney Lynn Crum said Payne struck Rosas’ car as both headed westbound on state Route 94 about 8:25 a.m. Friday.
She said the impact sent Rosas’ car into a callbox near the College Avenue off-ramp, then it went airborne and overturned. Rosas was ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene.
NBC7 reported that Rosas was married and had a 6-year-old daughter and 11-month-old son. Her family told the outlet that she had Chistmas presents in the trunk of her car when she was hit.
Crum said witnesses estimated Payne’s car was going up to 100 mph prior to the crash.
According to the prosecutor, Payne sped off after the crash and exited at Kelton Road, where he struck three parked cars.
When officers stopped him, Crum said, he ran from his car but was detained by police, who “smelled an overwhelming odor of alcohol on his person.”
She said he denied drinking and said he last consumed alcohol the night before. According to the prosecutor, Payne had a blood-alcohol content of .098 percent about four hours after the fatal crash.
The legal limit for driving in California is a blood-alcohol content of .08 percent.
Payne was ordered held without bail.
Staff writer Teri Figueroa contributed to this report.