POMONA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities Friday said a 21-year-old woman, who was convicted of gross vehicular manslaughter, has been sentenced to six years in state prison.

Raelene Marie Martinez of Ontario entered a no contest plea to charges of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and DUI causing injury, among others.

The accusations stem from the April 2013, death of 19-year-old Sarena Vargas. Vargas was seated in the back of Martinez’s car at the time of the accident.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said in a written statement that the fatal accident occurred after Martinez, who had been drinking at a party in Pomona, left and got behind the wheel of a vehicle. She had four others with her.

The statement indicated that at some point, she and a person in the front passenger seat began arguing.

The prosecutor said, “At that point, Martinez took her hands off the steering wheel and began hitting the front passenger,” according to the statement.

The vehicle eventually hit a curb, and struck two other cars that were parked before it flipped over.

Vargas was ejected from the car and died at the scene, the statement indicated.

During Friday’s sentencing, authorities said Martinez was also ordered to pay restitution to Vargas’ family as well as the victim’s compensation board.


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