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SALT LAKE CITY — A 46-year-old woman accused of hitting and killing a 6-year-old girl in a crosswalk was ordered to stand trial Friday on the charges against her.
Following a preliminary hearing, 3rd District Judge Elizaberth Hruby-Mills found there was sufficient evidence to support the charges against Janeen Lundberg. Lundberg has been charged with automobile homicide, a second-degree felony, and other charges in connection with the March 14 accident that killed Ambrosia Amalathithada-Ramsayer, 6.
The young girl and her mother were heading west across State Street when they were struck by a northbound vehicle near 1500 South. The girl died as the result of her injuries. Her mother was critically injured but survived.
Lundberg apparently lost control of her vehicle and swerved into the pedestrians, according to prosecutors.
Salt Lake police officer Cory Frandsen said Lundberg told him she was taking five to eight prescription medications and then submitted to a blood draw. It showed the presence of Butalbital and Doxylamine.
"All of the substances Lunderg admitted to taking and that were present in her blood have sedative effects," the charges state.
Frandsen testified that Lundberg told him she was familiar with State Street and drove in the area often on her way to work. She also told the officer that she stopped at a 7-Eleven before the crash to buy No-Doz, Diet Coke and coffee.
I just think it's an unbelievably tragic event. To think that this little girl isn't out there on the playground, having fun and thinking about Christmas is a killer to any of us.
–John Walsh, DA
"She said she was concerned about being on the road, being alert enough to operate a motor vehicle," Frandsen said.
Salt Lake police officer Timothy Stumm testified Friday that he determined Lundberg was traveling between 32 and 38 mph at the time of the crash, close to the 35 mph speed limit in the area. He saw her car was still in the lawn where it had come to a stop.
"There was no evidence of braking," Stumm said, "at all."
Stumm said he found there were signs indicating an upcoming crosswalk 234 feet before the crosswalk as well as a sign near the crosswalk. He estimated the pedestrians had been in the crosswalk 10-12 seconds before they were hit and that they would have entered the crosswalk when Lundberg's vehicle was 308 feet away.
Defense attorney John Walsh said his client has been "devastated" by the crash.
"I just think it's an unbelievably tragic event," Walsh said. "To think that this little girl isn't out there on the playground, having fun and thinking about Christmas is a killer to any of us."
The Utah Department of Transportation later installed a traffic signal at the crosswalk.
In addition to automobile homicide, Lundberg is also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, a third-degree felony, and failure to yield to pedestrians when traffic signal is not operating and making an improper turn, both class C misdemeanor. An arraignment hearing is set for Dec. 17.