Charges filed against Sabrina Distura in Nevada Union student deaths |

Charges filed against Sabrina Distura in Nevada Union student deaths

Sabrina Distura

Merced County authorities this week filed multiple charges against Sabrina Distura, the San Jose woman accused in the deaths of two Nevada Union students.

Distura, 21, faces eight felonies — two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter, three counts of DUI causing injury and three counts of DUI with 0.08 percent or more blood alcohol content. She’s charged with one misdemeanor, possession of a controlled substance, Merced County records state.

A conviction on a count of gross vehicular manslaughter calls for a sentence of four, six or 10 years. Each DUI conviction warrants a sentence of up to three years.

Additionally, Distura faces six special allegations of inflicting great bodily injury. Each allegation carries a maximum three-year sentence.

Distura is accused in the March 25 deaths of Tyler Nielson, 17, and Justin Gardner, 16. Authorities claim she crossed the median of Interstate 5 near Los Banos and collided with the car driven by Nielson, who died at the scene. Gardner died later that day at a hospital.

A third student in the car — 16-year-old Dawson Fay — suffered a broken hip, school officials said.

Distura remained at a hospital for almost a week. Authorities on Saturday booked her into the Merced County Jail. She made her $100,000 bond within hours, reports state.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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