General Crime

* Antioch Women Renita Michelle Surles, 39, Sentenced For Crash That Killed Novato Man Jorge Luis Rodas Lopez, 41

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An Antioch woman has been sentenced to four years in prison for a hit-and-run drunken driving crash that killed a Novato man on U.S. Highway 101 last year.Renita Michelle Surles, 39, pleaded guilty in January to four felony charges in connection with the crash just as jury selection for her trial began, Marin County Deputy District Attorney Linda Witong said.Jorge Luis Rodas Lopez, 41, was killed when Surles’ Honda Odyssey struck him on the side of northbound U.S. Highway 101, south of Ignacio Boulevard, on May 10. Lopez, a landscaper, had pulled to the side of the road after his 1983 Nissan pickup truck ran out of gas. He was struck as he retrieved a gas can from his truck, and was thrown 70 feet.Surles was sentenced Monday in Marin County Superior Court to four years for gross vehicular manslaughter and a one-year term in Marin County jail for child endangerment, Witong said. She was given credit for time served, however, on the child endangerment charge.That charge was filed against her because her 5-year-old son was in the car at the time of the fatal crash. Marin County Superior Court Judge Kelly Simmons indicated in January she would sentence Surles to no more than six years in prison, a sentence the prosecution opposed, Witong said. Surles faced a maximum of 13 years and four months in prison for vehicular manslaughter, DUI causing great bodily injury, hit-and-run causing injury or death and child endangerment, Witong said.California Highway Patrol Officer Mary Ziegenbein said at the time that the CHP found the Odyssey’s front bumper at the crash scene and used part of a tag inside the bumper to trace it to Mike’s Auto Body shop in Antioch. A body shop employee traced the tag and bumper to Surles, Ziegenbein said.Surles told the CHP she was lost on U.S. Highway 101 that Saturday evening. She said she thought she hit only the truck and panicked, Ziegenbein said. Surles said she pulled off the freeway into a gas station and waited there for 45 minutes, Ziegenbein said. Surles said when nobody came by and she didn’t hear sirens she left, Ziegenbein said.The Marin County District Attorney’s Office said her blood-alcohol level was about 0.20, more than twice the legal limit.

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