Family hoping woman who killed their mother in a DUI crash sees justice in second DUI arrest

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Outrage from a family still coping with a mother's death in a DUI crash. The woman responsible beat the charge and now she's been arrested again. (KFSN)

Outrage from a family still coping with a mother's death in a DUI crash. The woman responsible beat the charge and now she's been arrested again for driving drunk.

CHP officers said Donna Neely's blood alcohol level was nearly four times the legal limit when she was arrested at the scene of the latest accident-- one she didn't cause.

For a few brief minutes, Neely felt the clasp of handcuffs after the judge ordered her remanded into custody-- but it was short lived. Her attorney pleaded with the judge to give her a few hours to post a $30,000 bond and avoid any jail cell.

"She has not consumed any alcohol since this incident. In fact, she's done a 30-day in-patient program to make sure this never happens again," said Scott Levy, Neely's attorney.

Neely shook in court Tuesday while her attorney explained all the measures she's taken on her own since her most recent DUI arrest.

Neely was eastbound on Highway 180 at Highland in late January around 6:45 in the evening. She was struck from behind but never pulled over. Her attorney said she had a good reason.

"When you have an elderly woman who is driving by herself in a rural area, sometimes you don't feel secure. Especially if the driver of the assailant vehicle, the one who hit her, is acting in an aggressive manner," said Levy.

Neely hasn't faced a judge in six years after she was charged with gross vehicular manslaughter in the death of a mother of 11. Chou Thao Her was killed, and her husband was critically hurt, when CHP officers said Neely crossed over the center lines and hit the couple's Toyota truck head on an Auberry road.

Her defense was she was sleep driving while under the influence of prescription drugs-- hydrocodone and an ambien.

A jury ended up finding Neely not guilty. She spoke briefly after the verdict.

"I'm very happy that justice has been served, absolutely," said Neely.

But justice was not served according to Her's family. They feel Neely deserved the agony they instead wake up to every day.

"Years later and here we are. Not a day, not a minute goes by, without us thinking, 'if only this person had not driven that night,'" said Judy Hue, victim's daughter.

The victim's daughter is hoping this time, even though no one was injured, that Neely will be held accountable for her bad decisions.

"It's just beyond words to even comprehend that this person is back on the streets doing the exact same thing. Over and over again," said Hue.

Neely was ordered last week to wear an alcohol monitor that detects any alcohol consumption.

She will be back in court next month and the victim's family plans to be there too.
Related Topics:
DUIdui crashtraffic fatalitiesfresnotrialfresno countyAuberry
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