Accident charges dismissed in DUI injury case |

Accident charges dismissed in DUI injury case

Christina Proctor

A judge dismissed charges Thursday against a 48-year-old South Lake Tahoe woman accused of injuring four teens in a traffic accident.

Judge Jerald Lasarow ruled after a preliminary hearing that there was insufficient evidence to bind Chris Pipkin Kengla over for trial on the charge of driving while intoxicated and causing great bodily injury.

Testimony by an investigator for the El Dorado County District Attorney’s office failed to establish the expertise of the person who tested Kengla’s blood sample for alcohol. According to the prosecution records Kengla’s blood alcohol level at the time of the accident was .09. The legal limit is .08.

Deputy District Attorney Michael Atwell told Judge Lasarow that he intends to file charges against Kengla again, giving the prosecutors one more chance to present their case at another preliminary hearing.

The Feb. 17 accident sent South Lake Tahoe teen-ager Seth McGrath to Barton Memorial Hospital with internal injuries. The driver, Joshua Zion, 16, suffered facial and chest injuries and passenger Amber Kraw, who was believed to have suffered only minor injuries, broke her back. Christina Peterson, 16, another passenger, suffered minor injuries.

The teens and their families have been present at almost all the court hearings on this case. Several times they waited from 8:30 a.m. to late in the afternoon for the case to be heard and returned when the case was continued.

“We’re just flabbergasted,” said Andy Zion, Joshua’s father. “The kids are distraught. They want closure.”

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