The district attorney has charged a 20-year-old Bakersfield woman, almost two months after a fatal wreck that, police say, she caused because she was distracted by her cell phone.
The felony vehicular manslaughter charge could land Anna Marie Reynosa in prison for up to six years.
"She's gone, and I don't know what to do." The last time we talked to Barbara Wilkins, the pain was too raw as she faced burying her 20-year-old daughter Charla.
Charla Wilkins was stopped on her motorcycle at the intersection of Jewetta Avenue and Reina Road on April 14th when, police say, Reynosa plowed into her.
On Thursday, family members expressed relief that a felony charge had been filed. Reynosa was arrested Wednesday night.
"What is so important on that cell phone that going above the speed limit on a street is worth someone's life?," asked Michael Yraceburn, Supervising Deputy District Attorney.
Yraceburn got the case from detectives three weeks ago. "It is in my opinion, almost the same as being impaired while you are driving, the impairment causes the distraction," he said.
The Bakersfield Police Department estimates Reynosa was going between 63 and 68 miles per hour when she hit the intersection. The posted speed limit is 45.
"This is the first one we're aware of in our county, since I have been managing the vehicle homicide unit, that we have a texting case that caused a death," said Yraceburn.
Reynosa told detectives her truck's braking system was malfunctioning and that may have played a role. Detectives examined the vehicle and found the brakes to be deficient, but operable.
Still, Yraceburn says Reynosa didn't try to slow or stop. "We have reasons to believe that the brakes did not play a role in this accident," he said.
Detectives also say Reynosa had been drinking, but not to the point she was impaired.
17 News went to Reynosa's home just a few blocks from the crash site Thursday, but no one answered the door. And, Reynosa declined our request for a jailhouse interview.
"There will be a lesson for a lot of people out there that they will understand using their cell phone is a distraction and they need to consider the safety of others around them when they are driving," said Yraceburn.