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Drunken driver in deadly crash takes plea deal

Hurtado

Facing a dozen charges accusing her of driving drunk and killing two people in May, Corina Hurtado pleaded guilty to fewer charges as part of a plea agreement Monday in Allen Superior Court.

Hurtado, 50, pleaded guilty to two counts of operating a vehicle with a controlled substance causing death.

But the two Class B felony charges were not the most serious she faced.

After her arrest in May for causing the death of an elderly couple Fairfield Avenue and Taylor Street, Hurtado was charged with myriad driving charges, but also two counts of murder.

In court documents, Allen County prosecutors alleged Hurtado was well aware that there was a “high-probability that death could result from her actions.”

On May 8, Hurtado, of the 4100 block of Harris Road, was in the lot of Straley’s Auto Sales, 1923 Broadway, and backed her pickup truck into a parked, unoccupied car.

When a worker at the business asked her about insurance, Hurtado told him she had none and took off.

She made it about half a mile up Taylor Street to Fairfield Avenue, where she ran a red light and plowed into a van driven by Harold Bebout, 79. He died at the scene.

His wife, Starr Bebout, 74, was taken to a hospital in critical condition and died five days later.

At the crash scene, Hurtado’s speech was slurred and she smelled of alcohol, according to police.

The crash left her with serious injuries, and she was taken to Lutheran Hospital.

Nearly two hours after the 9:15 a.m. crash, blood tests taken at the hospital showed cocaine in her system and a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.17 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.8 percent.

In a later interview with police, Hurtado admitted to drinking that morning and said she had ingested cocaine the day before, according to court documents.

She said she knew she shouldn’t have been driving and left the auto lot in an effort to avoid police.

She said she never saw the Bebouts’ van at the intersection, according to court documents.

Under the terms of the plea agreement signed by Hurtado, she faces 20 to 40 years in prison.

Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remaining 10 charges against her.

She will be sentenced in mid-December.

rgreen@jg.net

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