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CHP Arrests Driver in Crash that Killed SJHHS Softball Coach

A San Diego woman faces charges of vehicular manslaughter for April accident that took the life of Deanna Mauer, 23.

The CHP has arrested a San Diego driver who allegedly slammed her Toyota Prius into a last April, killing her.

Jorene Ypanto Nicolas, 29, faces a maximum six years behind bars on charges of vehicular manslaughter, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s office..

On April 27, Nicholas was speeding north on Interstate 405 near Edwards Street and didn’t notice traffic had come to a halt, according to the D.A. Traveling about 80 mph, she rear-ended a Hyundai sedan driven by Deanna Mauer.

Mauer’s car was pushed into the car in front of her and then hit the center divider before coming to a stop facing south in the northbound lanes, according to the DA. 

Nicolas, after crashing into Mauer's car, is accused of losing control of her own vehicle and also crashing into the center divider. She walked away with only minor lacerations, according to the D.A.

Mauer, a standout softball player back in her days at and an assistant coach for the softball team, was taken to UCI Medical Center, where doctors pronounced her dead at 6 p.m. as a result of brain death caused by vertebral artery transaction, according to the D.A. 

Softball was Mauer’s life, San Juan Hills High softball coach Dave Didier previously told Patch. She played for Baker when he coached the girls softball team at Fountain Valley. She was a four-year letter winner and was named team MVP her senior year. She also pitched for the San Jose State University Spartans where her 2008 ERA was 3.61. The school newspaper, the Spartan Daily News, called her “free-spirited.” 

Born June 14, Mauer was 1½ months away from her 24th birthday at the time of the accident.

Mauer’s mom, Dawn Mauer, said working with the Stallion girls changed Dawn' life. She was considering a career in cosmetology until she got back out on the softball field at San Juan Hills.

“After the first day there she came home and said, ‘I loved being back on the field. Now I know what I want to do,’ ” Dawn Mauer .

She planned to get a master’s degree and pursue coaching at a university level, Dawn Mauer said.

“I have no doubt she would [have] accomplished that if she had been given that time,” she said.

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