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Mother of Orange County freeway killer on trial for hit-and-run

The mother of a young man who terrorized Orange County earlier this year is now on trial for causing a car accident that injured three people, and then leaving the scene. The woman's son made news this February when he carjacked a vehicle and went on a freeway shooting spree in the area, killing three people. The rampage ended when he shot himself to death.

The accident for which the mother is facing charges occurred in June 2011 on the 405 Freeway in the Irvine area. According to law enforcement, the 43-year-old woman, who lives in Ladera Ranch, crashed her SUV into the side of a Honda Accord in which a woman was driving with a 9-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl. The impact ran the car off the road. According to prosecutors, the woman driving the SUV sped off rather than remaining at the scene or checking on the condition of the passengers in the other car. The 4-year-old girl who was a riding in the Honda suffered severe injuries and has undergone surgery to help repair her face. Her nose, eye sockets, and jaw were all damaged.

According to the OC Weekly, the woman is charged with one felony count of hit and run with permanent injury and one felony count of hit and run with injury. In addition to the severe injuries sustained by the 4-year-old, the OC Weekly reported that the woman driving the car had broken ribs, and her 9-year-old son suffered a fractured collar bone when the car hit a concrete structure. It reports that police were able to locate the hit-and-run driver because a witness followed her after the accident and got a partial license plate number, and also because she filed an insurance claim for the damage to her GMC Yukon Denali soon afterwards. If she is convicted, she could serve four years in state prison.

When people leave the scene of an accident, particularly one in which people are injured, law enforcement as well as the public generally work hard to see that they are found and brought to justice. Sometimes otherwise decent people panic and flee the accident site. However, if they do not take steps on their own to come forward to law enforcement, the consequences of their actions will only be worse.

According to OC Weekly, Sarwat Yasmine Syed, Killer's Mom on Trial for Hit-and-Run, "Absolutely Innocent:" Lawyer, Matt Coker, Sept. 17, 2013

Source: The Los Angeles Times, "Mother of O.C. freeway shooter on trial for hit-and-run" Anh Do, Sep. 17, 2013

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