A 23-year-old Lodi woman accused of killing three people while driving drunk along Interstate 5 was transferred from a local hospital to San Joaquin County Jail on Tuesday afternoon, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Coleen Torres spent four days being treated for serious injuries suffered during a head-on collision near the Walnut Grove Road exit in Thornton on Friday, shortly after midnight. According to the CHP, all three people in the car she struck died at the scene. None were wearing seatbelts, officers said.
Torres is being held on suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants, along with three counts of first-degree murder, according to the CHP.
Typically, Torres would be charged with vehicular manslaughter, police said. However, a prior DUI conviction made her eligible to be charged with murder, according to the CHP.
Torres, who also wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, was traveling north along I-5 when she drove into the back of a semi-truck that was going 55 miles per hour, officers said. She lost control of her 1995 Jeep, sped across the median and collided head-on with a 2008 Volkswagen, the CHP said.
Vincent Cruz, 56, of Woodland, Nadara Guerrero-Cruz, 42, of Woodland, and Monica Martinez, 53, of Sacramento, were killed in the collision, according to the San Joaquin County Coroner.
Torres is scheduled to appear in San Joaquin County Court on Thursday. She is being held without bail.
Authorities are still investigating the collision.
Contact reporter Kristopher Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.