A San Luis Obispo woman charged in a suspected DUI crash that killed a Los Osos man in November pleaded not guilty in her first court appearance Tuesday morning.
Jane Ann Upton, 52, had missed her scheduled arraignment in February because of the life-threatening injuries she suffered in the head-on collision.
Upton pleaded not guilty to felony charges of driving under the influence resulting in injuries and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated with gross negligence. Prosecutors have also charged her with a criminal enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury on a person over the age of 70. She denied that allegation Tuesday.
Upton is accused of causing the crash that killed James Grant Snider, 86, of Los Osos on Nov. 17.
CHP officials said at the time that Upton was driving north in a Toyota Prius on Foothill Boulevard north of O’Connor Way at about 2:15 p.m. when she crossed over the double yellow lines and into the path of a southbound Ford Escape driven by Snider.
The left front of the Toyota struck the driver's side of the Ford within the southbound lane, causing major damage to both vehicles, according to the CHP.
Upton and Snider were both taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo with severe injuries. Snider was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Upton spent the last several months in treatment at a neuro-rehabilitation clinic, her attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, said at Upton’s first scheduled arraignment in February. Her case was continued until she could appear in court to enter a plea.
Following Upton’s not guilty plea Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Rita Federman scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 7, when a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to continue to trial.