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Driver goes to trial for manslaughter Neal Putnam | Sat, Jun 04 2011 12:00 PM

An accused drunk driver has been ordered to stand trial for second-degree murder and vehicular manslaughter in the death of a teenage passenger in Chula Vista.

Roman R. Martinez, 28, of San Diego, is charged with the death of Eileen Miranda, 18, of Chula Vista, on Sept. 25, 2010, after Martinez was driving a Honda Accord that was crammed with seven passengers.

The Accord belonged to a relative of Martinez. There wasn't enough space for everyone to fit in the car and Miranda sat on one passenger's lap without a seat belt, according to passengers who testified in the preliminary hearing May 24 in Chula Vista Superior Court.

Martinez tried to pass a Chevrolet Astro van on Interstate 805 around 5:15 p.m. near East H Street when he clipped the front end of the van. The Accord spun, went down an embankment and caught fire.

The other passengers got out and some were hospitalized, but Miranda died at the scene. The van struck a center divider. A National City couple who were in the van were also injured.

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