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Charges Reduced in Triple Fatal Accident

A Santa Barbara woman will face reduced charges after an April 21 traffic accident killed three people on Highway 101. She was originally charged with two felonies, but a review by Highway Patrol investigators and the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office resulted in charges with reduced penalties.

Kimberly Ann Kreis, 52, will face charges including:

– Felony possession of a controlled substance

– Misdemeanor use or being under the influence of a controlled substance

– Misdemeanor possession of an instrument for the injection or smoking of a controlled substance

– Misdemeanor driving while under the combined influence of any alcoholic beverage and drug.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced the updated charges in a news release written on Thursday.

Two 17-year-old girls and a 20-year-old man were killed in the crash. They were in a vehicle that rolled over in a one-car accident, but were then struck by the vehicle allegedly driven by Kries.

Brian Aldonay Lopez, 20, Danielle Murrillo, 17 and Jessica Lee Leffew, 17, all were killed by the impact. The driver, Erik Hoel August, survived. August apparently fell asleep at the wheel as he was driving south on Highway 101 near the Carrillo Street exit. The vehicle veered off the right shoulder, then onto a guard rail which eventually left the vehicle upside down. It was struck moments later.

Danielle’s father said the group was returning to the Torrance area after a concert in Santa Maria.

The accident was so horrific, California Highway Patrol deployed ten investigators, some with major crash scene experience. The freeway was shut down for 12 hours, snarling commuters.

Kreis was arrested at the scene of the crash on original charges of felony charges of Gross Vehicular Manslaughter while intoxicated and Causing Bodily Injury while intoxicated. The resulting investigation resulted in the reduction of the charges as the case moves forward in the court system.

Kreis will be arraigned onOctober 2.

Slideshow: Extensive Investigation into Triple Fatal Accident

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