A Los Angeles woman charged with DUI, manslaughter and other crimes after an April 27 Beverly Hills crash killed two passengers inside of her BMW X5 entered a plea of not guilty, authorities said.
Taisha Warie Welch, 30, faced two felony counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while inebriated, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday.
Welch also faced one felony count each of DUI of an alcoholic beverage resulting in injury and driving with a .08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury, authorities said in a release.
She pleaded not guilty to all charges on Tuesday at her arraignment in the Los Angeles Superior Court Airport Branch, a court official told KTLA. Her bail was set at $460,000 and her next hearing date is on May 17, the official said.
Welch faces a potential maximum sentence of 16 years and six months in a state prison if convicted, authorities added in the release.
In late April, Welch allegedly drove under the influence when she lost control of her SUV and caused a rollover crash that killed Denesha Stewart, 24, and Jenetta Williams, 30, authorities stated in the release.
The crash of the BMW X5 occurred near Wilshire Boulevard and Santa Monica Boulevard with the SUV carrying six women between the ages 20 and 35 from the L.A. area, authorities previously said.
Preliminary reports suggested the driver possibly ran a red light and was speeding before losing control and striking a tree in the area.
The women who survived the crash were reported to be in various conditions from minor to serious, authorities previously said.
A GoFundMe account was started for Williams while her cousin told KTLA she was a mother of five.
Additionally, officials said in the statement Welch was charged with a misdemeanor count of driving while her privileges were suspended or revoked. They also included claims that she caused great bodily injury with more than one victim involved.
The Beverly Hills Police Department continues to investigate the crime, officials said.