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New York mom pleads guilty in drunk driving death

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • New York mom pleads guilty in drunk driving death, prosecutors say
  • The October 2009 accident led New York to toughen its laws against drunk driving
  • Leandra's Law makes it a felony in New York to drive drunk with a child in a car

(CNN) -- A 32-year-old woman pleaded guilty in New York to manslaughter charges after a wreck that killed an 11-year-old girl and hurt six other children -- a case that led the state to toughen its drunk-driving laws.

According to prosecutors, Carmen Huertas, 32, was intoxicated when she lost control of her station wagon on the Henry Hudson Parkway last October. New York investigators concluded that Huertas was driving 18 miles over the speed limit and had a blood alcohol level of .132 percent. The legal limit is .08 percent.

Huertas was driving her daughter and six of her daughter's friends to her home in the Bronx for a sleepover, according to a statement released by the New York District Attorney's office. Earlier in the evening, Huertas had been drinking alcohol at an adult relative's birthday party in Chelsea, prosecutors said.

The crash killed Leandra Rosado, one of Huertas' daughter's friends.

"It is my hope that the family of victim Leandra Rosado can derive some small measure of comfort from today's events, and from the fact that her death inspired the swift passage of Leandra's Law," Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement Tuesday.

Leandra's Law is a New York measure that makes it a felony to drive drunk with a child in a car.

Huertas will be sentenced on October 1.

In Session's Adam Blank and Beth Karas contributed to this report.