Investigators believe the pregnant Clovis woman who caused a crash killing a Lemoore man on Friday night in Madera County may have passed out behind the wheel. She also could face a murder charge, Madera County’s district attorney said.
Candice Ooley had a 0.32 blood alcohol level – four times the legal limit of 0.08 – at the time of the collision, said David Linn, Madera County district attorney. He said she had a fight with her boyfriend in Clovis before the 9:50 p.m. crash on Highway 41 north of Road 200.
“She had been home in Clovis and had a fight with her boyfriend,” Linn said. “She started driving and started drinking.”
Ooley also has a prior DUI count in Madera County against her. She was arrested in December on suspicion of DUI. She has not made any court appearances – her latest hearing was scheduled last week in Bass Lake.
Ooley will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday in a Madera courtroom on two felony DUI counts and vehicular manslaughter, as well as driving on a suspended license due to a prior arrest.
Linn said his office will ask a judge for a hike in Ooley’s bail, which is now $151,900. Depending on the direction of the investigation, he also said his office could amend the complaint and add a murder charge.
Lemoore man killed in crash
Ooley was arrested Friday night by the California Highway Patrol after crashing her 2014 Chevrolet Cruze into the rear of a 2006 Hummer H3. The CHP said Ooley was intoxicated and may have been passed out when she rear-ended the Hummer. The CHP report said the speed Ooley was driving isn’t known.
She had been home in Clovis and had a fight with her boyfriend. She started driving and started drinking.
Madera County DA David Linn, on what alleged DUI driver Candice Ooley did before she was involved in a fatal crash
The Hummer’s driver, Mauricio Lourenco, 40, of Lemoore, lost control, went off the road and down an embankment. He was reportedly in fair condition on Monday at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno.
The crash killed Federico Duarte Nunez Silva, 47, of Lemoore, and injured Juana Pineda, 40, and Louisa Pamplona, 48, both of Lemoore. The women were treated and released from Community Regional Medical Center.
For vehicular manslaughter with great bodily injury, Ooley faces 13 to 15 years in state prison. With a murder charge, she could face 20 to 25 years in prison, Linn said.
Ooley’s pregnancy is far along, Linn said, but he doesn’t know her due date.
Linn said it wasn’t clear where Ooley was headed Friday night, but she is believed to have family members living in the Coarsegold area.
In December, Linn said, Ooley was arrested in eastern Madera County for DUI, and her blood alcohol level measured above 0.20.
A family member contacted Monday by The Bee said she had no comment and that no one in the family was prepared to discuss the incident.