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Alleged double-fatal DUI driver back in hospital
November 09, 2013, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Marjorie Reitzell

The intoxicated driver accused of killing a Menlo Park couple walking their dog and crashing into a car of teenagers before hitting a tree is back in the hospital herself which is delaying a plea in the fatal crash.

Marjorie Ann Reitzell, 54, was due back in court a second time on Thursday but did not appear. On Friday, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the Redwood City woman was not medically cleared for that day’s afternoon appearance. It was not immediately clear if Reitzell was being treated for reported chest pains which is the reason she was not arraigned for several days after the crash. Her family has also said publicly she has pneumonia. She finally appeared on Tuesday but did not enter a plea to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter and two felony counts of driving while under the influence causing injury.

Prosecutors are reserving the right to increase the charges to murder if they feel it warranted. Reitzell has a long history of criminal convictions, including several drug-related, and a prior misdemeanor conviction of driving while under the influence from last November. She was on probation for that crime when she allegedly caused the death of Balbir and Kamal Singh, 50 and 45 respectively, just before 7 p.m. Oct. 24 as they walked their dog on Chilco Street. Reitzell, who is on probation for a 2012 DUI conviction, reportedly struck the couple from behind as they walked on the paved shoulder before going over a center divider and hitting the second car head-on then coming to rest against a tree. The couple died at the scene and their Chihuahua was injured but survived. The four teenagers in the second car had minor injuries.

Prosecutors have not released a specific blood alcohol level for Reitzell but Wagstaffe it was “significantly more than twice the legal limit” and she had been drinking heavily all day before climbing behind the wheel.

Defense attorney Richard Keyes did not return a call for comment on his client’s case and medical condition.

Meanwhile, Menlo Park police are searching for a white man driving a white Ford Explorer that night who may have witnessed the incident.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Sgt. Sharon Kaufman at 330-6343.

michelle@smdailyjournal.com

(650) 344-5200 ext. 102

 

 

Tags: reitzell, before, second, couple, their, driving,


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