Nearly three years after the death of a beloved softball coach, the woman accused of killing Deanna Mauer will face a jury Tuesday on charges of vehicular manslaughter.
Prosecutors are accusing Jorene Ypanto Nicolas, 31, San Diego, of driving distracted on April 27, 2011, then slamming into Mauer’s car at 80 mph on the 405 near Edwards Street in Fountain Valley, according to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s office.
Mauer, a Fountain Valley resident, was an assistant softball coach at San Juan Hills High School and previously a standout player for Fountain Valley High School and San Jose State. The university named a patio after Mauer in her honor.
After the initial impact, Mauer’s car was pushed into the car in front of her and then traveled and struck the center divider before coming to a stop facing southbound in the northbound lanes, according to the D.A.
Mauer, who was wearing her seatbelt, was transported to UCI Medical Center. She was pronounced dead at 6 p.m. that day as a result of brain death due to vertebral artery transection, officials said.
Nicolas is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for driving inattentively and faces a maximum sentence of six years in state prison if convicted.