California: Shauna Nalani Ahyen charged with DUI manslaughter, killing Ariel Johnson after refusing taxi ride

Aerial Johnson

Ariel Johnson


WESTMINSTER — 2013-09-13 – According to the Orange County District Attorney, a  woman was arraigned today for driving under the influence of alcohol and losing control of her sport utility vehicle (SUV) that killed one passenger and left another passenger with major injuries. Shauna Nalani Ahyen, 22, Wailuku, Hawaii, is charged with one felony count each of vehicular manslaughter by lawful act that might cause death with gross negligence while intoxicated, driving under the influence causing bodily injury, driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or more causing bodily injury with a sentencing enhancement for causing great bodily injury. If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 13 years and eight months in state prison.

Ahyen was scheduled for, Friday, Sept. 13, 2013, an unlucky day for Ahyen, at 8:30 a.m. in Department W-2, West Justice Center, Westminster.

Prosecutors reported in a press releases that on the evening of March 10, 2013, Ahyen is accused of drinking alcohol at a house party and becoming intoxicated. The defendant is accused of refusing an offer from other party guests to have a taxi drive them home.

At approximately 3:30 a.m. on March 11, 2013, Ahyen is accused of driving her SUV and transporting passengers Ariel Johnson. and Jose L.

The defendant is accused of losing control of her SUV on Brookhurst Street and Russell Avenue in Garden Grove and driving over a curb, slamming into a telephone pole, and crashing into the front of a business before coming to a stop on the sidewalk.

Ariel J. who was lying in the back seat of the SUV was pronounced dead at the scene. Jose L., who also sat in the back seat area, suffered a broken clavicle and a broken arm.

Approximately one hour after the crash, Ahyen is accused of displaying objective physical signs of being under the influence of alcohol and having a blood alcohol content of .18 percent.

The Garden Grove Police Department investigated this case. Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino of the Homicide Unit is prosecuting this case.