The driver accused of killing four people and injuring a dozen others when she plowed through a busy Redondo Beach crosswalk while allegedly driving under the influence of prescription medication pleaded not guilty Friday afternoon.
Margo Bronstein, 56, has been charged with four counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and one count of driving under the influence of a drug causing injury, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Bronstein was wheeled into court on a gurney by two paramedics.
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Police said Bronstein was on prescription medication when she collided with the group of parishioners who had just left a children’s Christmas concert at St. James Catholic Church Wednesday night.
She also collided head-on with another car.
Outside court Friday, her attorney, Jeffrey Gray, said he feels there's a mob mentality behind this case. He said his client, who is disabled because of a birth defect, feels terrible about this tragedy.
"Everybody's jumping to conclusions about this case," he said. "We have no toxicology levels. We have no blood-alcohol level. We know that Ms. Bronstein is an individual who does not live her life recklessly."
Since her arrest, friends have come to Bronstein’s defense, noting that she has a disability that requires heavy medication and that she had to use hand-controlled brakes for her car.
"She's not somebody who went to a bar and got wasted, (and) plowed through an intersection at a concert," friend Timothy Eakin told NBC4. "This is probably something that was a complete accident. Never something she would have done on purpose."
Four people have died, including 6-year-old Samuel Gaza and his mother Martha Garza and two other women.
Mourners gathered Friday night to remembers those killed and injured.
"I was looking for some way to acknowledge this tragedy, and it just seemed like you couldn't go on your regular daily routine," parishioner Steve Balderas said.
To hear that a mother and little boy were taken so young, it's just heartbreaking," Tami Hoffman said. "And the grandmothers, and everybody else that's injured."
Beverly White contributed to this report.