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Felony manslaughter filed in fatal Grass Valley ATV crash

Carlee Marie D'Arata

An investigation into a fatal ATV crash has led Nevada County District Attorney to seek a felony manslaughter charge against a Grass Valley woman for her role in the death of 31-year-old Antonette Thevenin, officials said.

District Attorney Cliff Newell announced Thursday his office will move forward with a criminal charge of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated against Carlee D’Arata, 28, who was reportedly driving the all-terrain vehicle at the time of the April 15 crash.

D’Arata faces four, six or 10 years’ incarceration if convicted, said Chris Walsh, assistant district attorney.

“This charge arose from a single vehicle traffic collision in the Grass Valley area … involving a four wheel off-road vehicle that was driven by Carlee D’Arata. Antonette Thevenin was one of three passengers in the vehicle and was killed as a result of the crash,” a news release states. “The other passengers suffered minor injuries. A chemical test revealed that the defendant was over the legal limit for alcohol in her system. She also had a prior misdemeanor DUI conviction in 2007.”

According to the California Highway Patrol, which initially arrested D’Arata for murder and driving under the influence, D’Arata was at her home having a party with several others when a group decided to go for a ride on a 2007 four-seat Yahama Rhino. D’Arata, who was driving with an unknown number of passengers, lost control of the ATV on Old Coach Way, near Lower Colfax Road.

The wreck ejected Thevenin, who wasn’t wearing a seat belt, and others from the vehicle, the CHP reported.

“It overturned on top of the victim,” CHP Officer Greg Tassone said.

According to the DA’s Office, the case is set for arraignment 1:30 p.m. Sept. 8 in Nevada County Superior Court.

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