Driver Charged With Crashing Into Building, Killing Woman

A motorist whose car slammed into a South Los Angeles apartment building, killing a woman who had been sleeping inside, was charged Thursday with gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated and drunken driving.

Connie Jo Howard, 59, is scheduled to be arraigned Friday at the Compton courthouse on one count each of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, driving under the influence of an alcoholic beverage causing injury and driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury in connection with the July 3 crash, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

The charges include allegations that Howard caused bodily injury or death to more than one victim and that she has four prior convictions -- three for robbery and one for assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury -- dating back to 1985.

Authorities said Howard was behind the wheel of the white sedan that smashed into the corner of a four-story apartment building at 8760 N. Main St., near Manchester Ave., and then caught on fire.

Nicole Marks, 44, was inside one of the apartments and died at the scene.

Howard and her 55-year-old male passenger were injured in the crash, and were taken to a hospital, Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department said earlier this month.

Howard was arrested Tuesday by the Los Angeles Police Department's South Traffic Division, with bail set at $100,000, according to jail records.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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