Charges Filed In Cyclist’s Death

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A Newport Coast woman has charged with manslaghter in the death of a bicyclist she allegedly struck while driving drunk and texting on Feb 21.

The Orange County District Attorney’s office filed charges against Danae Marie Miller, 22, last week. She is charged with one felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence while intoxicated.

The DA released a statement announcing the charges against Miller, who prosecutors say drifted into the bike lane while driving drunk and texting.

Miller is accused of consuming alcohol at her workplace, Zinc Café, at about 6 p.m. and then driving her 2008 Volkswagen Jetta eastbound on San Joaquin Hills Road. She hit and killed Amine Britel, 41, of Newport Beach while he was riding his bicycle in the eastbound marked bike lane, the DA said. Britel died at the scene.

Newport Beach police officers who arrived on scene reported that Miller displaying signs of intoxication including bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech, flushed face and that she smelled of alcohol.

At about 7:45 p.m. her blood alcohol level was .10.

If convicted, Miller faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison. She currently is free on bail and is scheduled to be arraigned April 4 at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach. Deputy District Attorney Jason Baez of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting the case.

Miller has had 16 traffic citations since 2005, according to Orange County Superior Court records.

Some of her citations include driving the wrong way down a one-way street, speeding, unsafe speed for the conditions, failing to stop at a stop sign, talking on a cell phone while driving (two separate times), following too closely, unsafe lane change, and throwing a lighted substance on the highway.

There were also several cases of driving without current registration or a registration card in the vehicle. These were dismissed for showing proof of correction.

According to Wafin, the website for Moroccan connections in America, Britel was an avid athlete, a Harvard alum and an entrepreneur.

Britel participated in the 2004 Olympic Games in the triathlon, and had competed in many other triathlons.

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