VISTA – A retired police drunken driving investigator from Winchester, who drove drunk and killed a 20-year-old Perris man on Interstate 15 near Rainbow, faces up to nine years in state prison today.
Katherine Ann Heinzel, 51, was convicted last year of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in the Nov. 19, 2011, collision that killed Davieonne Dwayne Kelly. She was sentenced Friday in Vista.
The defendant is a retired Newport Beach police officer who lives in Winchester, in Riverside County. In her career, she worked as a drunken driving crime scene investigator, prosecutors said.
She had a blood alcohol content of at least .13 as she piloted her car at high speed on I-15 near Lilac Road in the 1:50 a.m. crash. It rear-ended a Toyota Camry driven by Kelly, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The impact caused both vehicles to go through a guardrail and down a steep embankment. Kelly died at the scene and two of his passengers were hurt, along with Heinzel, said Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior.
According to the CHP, Heinzel had retired from the Newport Beach Police Department and was not employed in law enforcement at the time of the crash.