Drunk-Driving Charge : Woman Jailed Day Before Crash That Killed 3, Injured 2

Times Staff Writer

A Ventura County woman accused in a drunk driving accident that killed three young men and injured two others last week had been arrested the day before on a drunk driving charge in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles police said Tuesday.

Diane Helen Mannes, 34, of Somis, was arrested at 2:02 a.m. Thursday after being stopped by a California Highway Patrol officer near Tampa Avenue and the Ventura Freeway, said police spokesman Don Lawrence.

She was held at Van Nuys jail for eight hours and released on her own recognizance, Lawrence said. The charges are pending, he said.

Mannes was again arrested Friday night after an accident on the northbound Ventura Freeway that killed three young men and injured two others as the young people were walking on the highway's shoulder to seek help for a flat tire. They had parked their car and were walking away from it when Mannes' car sideswiped theirs and flipped over, striking the young men, said officer Jim Utter of the Ventura County CHP.

The car with the flat tire was not obstructing traffic lanes, Utter said. A half-empty bottle of vodka was found in Mannes' car after the accident, he said.

Funeral services for two of the dead youths--14-year-old Jacob Eugene Boyd and 19-year-old Joshua Daniel Oxenreider, both of Camarillo--were held Tuesday in Camarillo. The body of the third victim--20-year old Darin Scott Mullins--was sent to his home in Mansfield, Ohio, on Monday, said Craig Stevens, deputy coroner at the office of the Ventura County Medical Examiner.

Jacob Boyd's brother, Jeremy Boyd, 19, and Jeff Botens, 16, both of Camarillo, were in stable condition and improving Tuesday at Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, a nursing supervisor said.

Injury Avoided

A sixth man, 21-year-old Anthony Dunn of Thousand Oaks, said Tuesday he escaped injury by climbing over a freeway guard rail and separating himself from traffic. Dunn said the others were about 25 feet from their car when they were struck.

Dunn said his friends had gone to Thousand Oaks to pick him up and were returning to Camarillo when the accident occurred. They planned to repair several dirt bikes at Oxenreider's home and go riding the next day, he said.

Mannes was released Monday from Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks after being treated for minor injuries, a hospital spokeswoman said. Utter said Mannes may have been transferred to Simi Adventist Hospital in Simi Valley. But Simi Adventist nursing supervisor Gloria Kutches said Tuesday that nobody by that name had been admitted.

Authorities released Mannes to Los Robles Regional Hospital after she was given a blood alcohol test Friday night, Utter said. The CHP has not concluded its investigation, he said.

Results of the blood test could take two weeks to complete, he said.

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