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Alleged Drunk Driver in Fatal Coachella Crash Charged with DUI Vehicular Manslaughter

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Coachella, CA -

A motorist who was allegedly drunk when he ran a red light in Coachella and slammed into a car driven by a San Diego woman, who died at a hospital the following day, was charged today with DUI gross vehicular manslaughter and pleaded not guilty.

Cristian Hernandez, 25, of Coachella, was allegedly driving with a blood-alcohol level nearly four times the legal limit at the time of the 12:43 a.m. Sunday crash at the intersection of state Route 86 and Avenue 50, which caused ultimately fatal injuries to Terry Kaul, 64.

Story: Coachella Crash Results in DUI Charges

Hernandez ran a red light and struck Kaul's Honda Element within the intersection, said sheriff's Sgt. David Smith. Kaul was initially taken to John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio, then airlifted to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, where she died Monday afternoon.

Hernandez was found inside his vehicle, unconscious but uninjured, court papers show. He's being held in lieu of $500,000 bail and will return to court Aug. 18 for a felony settlement conference.

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