May trial set for defendant in crash case 

A new trial date has been set for Edith Delgado, accused of causing a crash on Highway 101 that killed three people, includingtwo members of the Tongan royal family.

Delgado, 18, of Redwood City, wore a formal suit with handcuffs around her wrists Tuesday as a judge scheduled her jury trial for May 29. It was supposed to begin March 19, but was delayed because an expert witness for the defense was hospitalized with an illness.

On July 5, 2006, at around 9 p.m., Delgado was driving her white Ford Mustang at alleged high speeds northbound near the Willow Road exit in Menlo Park when she allegedly clipped a Ford Explorer while changing lanes. The Explorer rolled over several times, killing all three passengers: Tonga’s Prince Tu’ipelehake, 54; Princess Kaimana, 46; and the driver, Vinisia Hefa, 36, an East Palo Alto resident.

Delgado, a recent graduate of Redwood High School, was arrested at the scene and later passed drug and alcohol tests.

She has entered a not guilty plea to three counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence and has waived her right to a speedy trial. The bail was initially set at $3 million but has since been reduced to $1 million.

The trial is expected to last about 10 days. Delgado faces a little more than eight years in prison, said Deputy District Attorney Aaron Fitzgerald, who wouldn’t specify how fast Delgado was driving.

"I’m not going into which witness is saying what at this point," he said. Regarding reports that Delgado was possibly racing an acquaintance in another car, Fitzgerald declined to comment.

Delgado’s attorney, Randy Moore, has indicated in past interviews that his client was not recklessly speeding, that there was no racing involved and that the incident was nothing more than a tragic traffic accident. Moore was not in court Tuesday and did not return phone calls.

bfoley@examiner.com

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