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Woman Charged In Hit-And-Run Crash That Killed Girl, Critically Injured Mother, Sister

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Jessica Cowan's booking photo. (credit: Santa Ana Police Department)

Jessica Cowan’s booking photo. (credit: Santa Ana Police Department)

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SANTA ANA (CBS) — A 33-year-old woman was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder in a hit-and-run crash that killed a 5-year-old girl and left her 6-year-old sister and mother in the hospital.

Prosecutors say Jessicah Louise Cowan, of Lake Hughes, was driving a Lexus on 17th Street at about 11 a.m. Saturday when she ran a red light and crashed into a center median. Cowan allegedly kept going and drove through another red light at Spurgeon Street, where 5-year-old Osmara Meza, her sister Gresia and her mother Eloisa were holding hands as they walked across the street.

Cowan struck the pedestrians and tried to drive away, but another motorist boxed Cowan in with his car, Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino said.

Cowan allegedly had marijuana in the vehicle and a breath test indicated she had more than the legal limit of alcohol in her system, he said.

The mother, who remains unconscious, and her daughter were being treated for traumatic brain injuries, but Gresia is expected to recover, Pino said.

Cowan was being held on $250,000 bail, but prosecutors want that bail to be increased to $1 million.

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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