Driver in Deadly PCH Crash Arraigned on Murder, DUI Charges

All three victims were high school students visiting Southern California from Las Vegas during their last spring break before graduation.

A San Clemente woman pleaded not guilty Monday to murder and DUI charges stemming from a fiery crash on Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach that killed two teenagers and an 18-year-old man.

Bani Marcela Duarte, 27, was charged Friday with three counts of murder as well as driving under the influence, with a sentence-enhancing allegation of causing great bodily injury, according to court records.

Duarte, who was arrested at the crash scene on March 29 and posted bail April 1, was re-arrested Sunday afternoon on the charges as investigators were concerned that she might be a flight risk, according to Huntington Beach police Lt. Dave Dereszynski.

The victims were in a car that was rear-ended and burst into flames after the force of the collision pushed it into a pole near Magnolia Street, police said. Killed in the crash were 17-year-old driver Brooke Hawley, 18-year-old Dylan Mack and 17-year-old Albert Rossi, all of Las Vegas.

Another teenage boy managed to get out of the burning car and was hospitalized with critical injuries, police said. Duarte's bail was set at $4 million. She is due back in court on Thursday for a bail review hearing.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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