A Hemet woman who triggered a multi-vehicle crash that killed two adults and a child was sentenced Thursday to nearly 10 years in prison.
Victoria Samantha Cook, 26, was convicted June 28 of three counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, as well as three sentence-enhancing allegations of inflicting great bodily injury and three allegations of committing a serious felony, in connection with the June 2, 2009, wreck on state Route 74 in Homeland.
Riverside County Superior Court Judge Dennis McConaghy imposed the midrange sentence — four years — for one manslaughter count, but handed down 16-month sentences for the other two. He applied the maximum term for one
enhancement and ordered that the other five enhancements run concurrent, sparing Cook what could have been a 30-year sentence.
The defense had argued for the enhancements to be dismissed, which McConaghy rejected.
According to the California Highway Patrol, reckless driving caused the chain-reaction crash that killed Christine Emily Giambra, 72, of Fountain Valley; Cedric Twayne Page, 37, of Murrieta, and Zaria Williams, 11, of San Jacinto.
The defendant was speeding east along state Route 74, near Four Seasons Boulevard, when she made several unsafe lane changes, clipping one vehicle and causing other motorists to swerve, according to the CHP.
Page was driving an Audi with Zaria in the front passenger seat and swerved into opposing traffic, colliding head-on with a Mitsubishi driven by Giambra, investigators said. Another driver, trying to avoid the accident, also hit Page’s vehicle.
Three people suffered serious injuries in the pileup.
Cook remained at the scene but denied having anything to do with causing the wrecks. The CHP sought charges against her after a nearly yearlong investigation.
A key piece of evidence was footage from a video surveillance camera mounted outside a convenience store along the highway that showed Cook driving out of control.