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Woman Faces Manslaughter Charge in Pedestrian Death

A woman who allegedly struck and killed a Santa Maria teen while the girl was crossing the street is facing a manslaughter charge in the incident, according to a statement issued by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office on Monday.

Kelsi Lynn Sullivan,  21, of Santa Maria, is being charged with one count of misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in the death of 15-year-old Leticia Hernandez Sanchez.

Sanchez was crossing the street with her brother on June 29 when she was struck and killed by a car driven by Sullivan.

The accident occurred just after 9:30 p.m. as the pair were attempting to cross Miller Street eastbound on Newlove Drive, Santa Maria Police Sgt. Jesus Valle said.

The pedestrians were in an unmarked crosswalk when the girl was hit by a 2000 Infiniti G20 traveling northbound on Miller, and she was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center, where she later died of her injuries.

The girl’s brother, 13-year-old Lisandro Hernandez Sanchez, was not hurt.

District Attorney Joyce Dudley explained the decision to charge Sullivan with a misdemeanor.

"Generally… misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter occurs when a death results from the negligent operation of a motor vehicle," Dudley said. "In this case, the  alleged negligent act by Ms. Sullivan was failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection."

There was no evidence that Sullivan was under the influence of any intoxicating substances, Dudley said.

Sullivan will be arraigned in Dept. 9 of Santa Maria Superior Court on Sept. 3.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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