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Mother Suing Woman Charged In Fatal Hit-and-Run Crash That Killed Daughter

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Escondido, California—a mother is suing the woman whom she believes struck and killed her 17-year-old daughter and then fled the scene of the crime. The wrongful-death suit alleges that Tiffany St. Ives, 54, may have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol when she struck Marlene Resendiz on November 24, 2007. However, St. Ives runs an animal-rescue farm called the Purple Cow, and her supporters argue that she is a strict vegan who would never use drugs or alcohol because of their contaminating effects to the body.

Nevertheless, St. Ives was arrested in February after an informant told police that St. Ives had him go to great lengths to cover up the accident, including repairing the front end of her black Nissan sedan using parts bought from a junkyard, bleaching the car, and then painting it gold. She is charged with fleeing the scene of a fatal accident and faces a maximum sentence of up to four years in prison if she is convicted. Her trial is scheduled to begin on June 15.

At St. Ives’ arraignment in February, the district attorney said the victim was crossing the street at around 5 p.m. on November 24, 2007. A car driving ahead of St. Ives stopped to let the girl pass, but St. Ives apparently “barreled through”, striking and carrying the girl for 400 yards before she fell off the car and died. The lawsuit contends that St. Ives consumed alcohol and other intoxicants before the crash and the girl’s mother is seeking $25 million for her daughter’s death.