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DA files charge against woman in deadly February crash

Police say she was speeding when she broadsided a 60-year-old man, who died at scene.

DA files charge against woman in deadly February crash

The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has filed gross vehicular manslaughter charges against a woman who police say was speeding when she broadsided another driver in a deadly crash in February, authorities announced Thursday.

Long Beach police said in a warrant earlier this year that 31-year-old Long Beach resident Julie Haq admitted to splitting a bottle and a half of wine with a friend on Feb. 20.

Sometime before midnight, Haq, according to authorities, got into a Lexus and began driving at a higher speed than the rate of traffic along Atlantic Avenue.

According to police, she ran a red light at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Anaheim Street, broadsiding a car driven by Rodger Watkins, 60, who his family says was headed to his job as a janitor at Cal State Long Beach.

The force of the crash caused Watkins to lose control of his car and crash into a nearby business, authorities said. He died at the scene.

Haq, meanwhile, was taken to a local hospital, according to the warrant. Detectives then secured a warrant to have her blood drawn, according to court documents.

On April 30, the DA’s office filed one count of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated against Haq, and issued a warrant for her arrest, police said Thursday. She turned herself in to the Long Beach courthouse on May 1, according to police.

Watkins’ daughter, Mariela Salgado, told the Watchdog that her family’s life was forever changed the night of the crash.

Salgado said she feels Haq had “no regard for life” when she drove that night and that while she walked away with minimal injuries, her father suffered.

“I have spent countless hours putting back the pieces together for my mother, our family, and reliving that moment,” Salgado said. “Every celebration, birthday, talent show, concert, graduation — even a simple kid pick-up/drop-off I am reminded of his absence because he was always there.

“He was always present.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with comments from Rodger Watkins’ daughter Mariela Salgado.

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