A Daly City woman is facing 10 years in prison after a jury found her guilty of driving drunk when she killed a Pacifica man on Highway 1 last year.
Ana Lilian Reepen, 42, was found guilty of two felonies after a six-day jury trial showed she had at least a .21 blood alcohol content hours after she drove the wrong way on the coastal highway and slammed head on into another driver around 6:42 p.m. Saturday, July 25, 2015, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
The victim, Bruce Bernor, a 54-year-old Pacifica man who was well loved in the community, died at the scene. Reepen went to trial arguing the blood test taken at the hospital where she was transported to with injuries was flawed, Wagstaffe said.
Reepen had been drinking at the Surf Spot restaurant before she drove her Honda CRV onto Highway 1 from Seabowl Lane heading south in the northbound lane. She was driving an estimated 50 mph when she rammed into Bernor, who was driving a Jaguar northbound near Crespi Drive, Wagstaffe said.
Bernor’s family attended the entire trial and Reepen’s husband reportedly cried out after the verdict was read Wednesday, about a day and a half after the jury started deliberating, Wagstaffe said.
“The tragedy she created affects her own family and the victim’s family,” Wagstaffe said. “It’s just inexcusable in today’s world to be driving around drunk when there’s an Uber or Lyft.”
Bernor’s family filed a civil lawsuit in San Mateo County Superior Court against Caltrans and the city of Pacifica, claiming the city and state transit agency did not provide adequate signs warning drivers of the one-way direction on Highway 1. The suit, filed July 1, 2016, suggests those driving westbound on Sea Bowl Lane may confuse the first northbound lane of Highway 1 as a southbound lane and enter heading the wrong direction.
Reepen was not named as a defendant in the civil case scheduled for a pretrial conference Nov. 3.
On Wednesday, a jury found Reepen guilty of vehicular manslaughter while under the influence and felony drunk driving. She is scheduled to return for sentencing Sept. 16. She had previously been out on bail, but it was doubled up to $500,000 after the verdict, Wagstaffe said.
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